DRP downplays loss of majority status

Friday, March 5th, 2010

The Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) downplayed the loss of majority status in Parliament, saying it still has a greater say over passing bills.

DRP Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef said that the party’s pact with the People Alliance led by Abdulla Yamin is still intact, and together, both parties have 34 members in the House.

“Even if we exclude the Speaker who is a DRP member, we still have 33 members when it comes to voting and there are independent members too who support the DRP,” Shareef told the Asian Tribune.

Of the 77 member parliament, the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party has 30 MP after DRP MP Alhan Fahmy and Independent MP Abdul Ghafoor joined the party last month.

The former majority party, Opposition DRP’s number of Parliamentarians has now come down to 27.

However, the People’s Alliance has seven MPs in Parliament while Dhivehi Qaumy Party has 2 MPs, Jumhooree 1 MP, and 10 independent MPs.

“When it comes to a crucial vote, we still have a greater say although we are short of only 3 members in Parliament when compared to the MDP,” Shareef noted.

Despite Shareef’s comments of DRP, PA relations being intact, critics have often said that a recent court case by PA Leader Yamin against DRP leader Thasmeen Ali over unpaid loans amounting to US$ 100,000 have strained the relations between the two.

Moreover, both Yamin and Thasmeen are set to contest the 2013 presidential election, hence considered political rivals.

Adding to the loss of majority status in Parliament, the ruling MDP also became the largest political party in the Maldives recording 31,171 members, outnumbering the DRP’s 30,775 members, according to the latest statistics released by the Elections Commission.

But Shareef said that people often join the ruling party to win political favours and the DRP in its register has genuine supporters unlike the MDP.

Meanwhile, Umar Naseer who is one of the four Deputy Leaders of the DRP told the Asian Tribune last week that “it is sad” for the party to lose majority status in Parliament and now it is upto the leader to “bring pride back to DRP.”

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