Third meeting of talks rescheduled for Sunday
The president’s office has scheduled a third meeting in ongoing talks with the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for Sunday, July 12.
The president’s office has rescheduled a third meeting in ongoing talks with the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for Sunday, July 12.
A meeting was set for Wednesday night, but cancelled at the last minute as some government representatives are out of the country.
The government is due to propose mechanisms to release jailed opposition politicians and withdraw charges against some 1,400 opposition supporters. The long-awaited talks has raised hope of an end to a six-month long crisis triggered by the arrest and imprisonment of former president Mohamed Nasheed.
The opposition leader was transferred to house arrest in late June.
President Abdulla Yameen had proposed three teams of ministers to sit separately with the three allied opposition parties. The Jumhooree Party and the government held two meetings in June, but there had been no progress with the MDP or the Adhaalath Party as the government vetoed some of the proposed representatives.
The MDP had proposed Nasheed and Adhaalath had proposed Sheikh Imran Abdulla, who is in police custody awaiting trial on a terrorism charge.
With Nasheed’s transfer to house arrest, the MDP agreed to begin talks without the opposition leader. Talks are yet to begin with the Adhaalath.
At a second meeting on Sunday, the government conceded to an MDP demand to commence all-party talks at a later stage when constitutional and legal reform are on the table.
The MDP and the government are currently discussing the opposition’s six demands for political reconciliation. In addition to freeing jailed politicians and withdrawing charges against supporters, the party has also called for an independent inquiry into the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan and the brutal murder of MP Afrasheem Ali.
The MDP has also proposed that talks conclude within a two-week period.