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Maldives opposition still quiet over coalition agreement

All parties and leaders will have a say in things, said the president-elect’s spokeswoman.



The Maldives opposition remained quiet Wednesday over details of a coalition agreement that was only vaguely mentioned in the campaign manifesto.

The joint candidate of four opposition parties, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Sunday defeated President Abdulla Yameen in the election.

The coalition comprises the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, the religious conservative Adhaalath Party, the Jumhooree Party and the Maumoon Reform Movement, a breakaway faction of the ruling party.

All four opposition leaders are either in prison or in exile. They are Mohamed Nasheed (MDP), Sheikh Imran Abdulla (AP), Gasim Ibrahim (JP) and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The joint manifesto says a coalition agreement signed by the four must be approved through parliament within 30 days of the coalition government securing a parliamentary majority.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the president-elect’s spokeswoman Mariya Ahmed Didi told reporters she could not say anything about the agreement.

“I can’t say anything about that right now… We are getting ready to start transition work when the Elections Commission announce the official results,” she said.

She insisted that the parties were working together “even during the transition period” and that “all parties and opposition leaders will have a say in things.”

“But it will be the president who makes the decisions. That is how it works everywhere around the world so this is nothing new,” she said. “This is not the first time a coalition has been made in this country or in the world.”

According to the manifesto, the four leaders must sign an agreement which explains the steps to be taken if the coalition falls apart. But the manifesto has no details of the agreement.

She was not responding to calls from the Maldives Independent earlier in the day about questions regarding press freedom pledges. The queries have been forwarded to the opposition’s jazeera raajje website.

Minutes before the briefing was due to start the spokeswoman sent a message to the Maldives Independent, saying she would brief the press at 2:30 pm.

“I also want to inform that we will hold a press briefing on days that we need to share things with the media. So during that press briefing, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions,” she said, before ending Wednesday’s briefing.

Photo of the president-elect and the president-elect’s spokeswoman from August