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MDP to go it alone in parliamentary elections

The four-party coalition failed to agree on a formula for jointly contesting the elections in March.



The Maldivian Democratic Party has decided to field candidates in all 87 constituencies after the four-party coalition failed to compromise on jointly contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections.

A resolution proposed by former president Mohamed Nasheed to go it alone was approved by 79 out of 80 members at a meeting of the MDP’s national council Saturday night.

The MDP could not accept 35 seats and relinquish the rest as expected by the three coalition partners, said Nasheed, who led the negotiations on behalf of the largest party in the coalition.

It was in the best interest of the party to contest nationwide, the MDP’s de facto leader said. A decision needed to be made as time was needed to organise primaries and prepare for the campaign, he noted.

The decision has thrown the future of the ruling coalition into doubt. The party has also drawn accusations of reneging on an agreement signed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as the MDP candidate in July.

According to an agreement leaked to the media, the MDP’s share of the coalition government would be 40 percent, followed by 25 percent to the Jumhooree Party, 20 percent to former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and 15 percent for the Adhaalath Party.

In addition to political appointments, the parties also agreed to divide seats in the same proportion to jointly contest the March 2019 parliamentary elections and the 2020 local council elections.

However, the leaked document was a proposal made by the MDP to seek the views of coalition partners, who failed to agree due to various reasons, MDP chairman Hassan Latheef, who co-signed the agreement, informed national council members.

“So this party has not signed any agreement on how to divide seats within the coalition,” he said.

Photo of four leaders outside MDP office after a meeting last week.