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Maldives opposition tightlipped on cabinet and coalition agreement

Reports suggest there will be 22 ministries, up from 14 ministries in the outgoing administration.



The incoming administration of president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih remains tightlipped on the composition of his cabinet and the agreement between the four coalition partners.

Mariya Ahmed Didi, the president-elect’s spokeswoman, says “discussions are ongoing” ahead of Solih’s inauguration on November 17.

According to media reports, there will be 22 ministries – up from 14 ministries in the outgoing administration – with 40 percent reserved for the Maldivian Democratic Party, 25 percent for the Jumhooree Party, 20 percent for the Maumoon Reform Movement and 15 percent for Adhaalath Party.

Purported lists are circulating on social media but reports suggest the coalition have yet to agree on cabinet posts.

Solih has reportedly asked the parties to nominate individuals. He is due to return Friday after an Umra pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. 

The proposed increase in ministries has drawn criticism over expenditure, the lack of transparency, and the number of political appointees.

The coalition has also yet to reveal how constituencies would be divided among the parties for the March 2019 parliamentary elections.

Calls have been growing for the coalition to disclose agreements signed by the four leaders.

“There will be no confidence in any of the coalition leaders if they do not reveal their deals before November 17!” former foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed tweeted.

Calls for transparency grew this week after former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom announced the coalition has agreed to award tickets without a primary to 12 MPs who were unlawfully unseated last year.

But former president Mohamed Nasheed disagreed. “Very few political parties in the world hold primaries to give tickets for parliament seats. MDP has experienced that this is both beneficial and damaging. Nonetheless, I think MDP tickets should still be awarded after a primary,” he tweeted.

According to the joint opposition manifesto, the coalition agreement must be approved through parliament within 30 days of the government securing a parliamentary majority.

The leaders have supposedly come to an agreement on steps to be taken if the coalition falls apart, but have so far failed to reveal details.