- Maldivian nation is calling for Gasim Ibrahim- AK
- President telephones Mohamed Falah who was rescued at sea
- Bangladeshi Planning Commission officials meet with Minister Shakeela
- President Sends a Message of Sympathy to the US President
- “Strengthening Low Carbon Energy Island Strategies” project discussion held
- Vote in the upcoming election is a vote that is related to slavery and freedom- Abdullah
- Maldivian adrift at sea rescued
- Turkish delegate addresses members of the Police in special forum
- Prime suspect in Afraasheem’s murder arrested
- People of Milandhoo protests against Nasheed at his arrival
- Screening processes for Special Constabulary begins
- Commissioner of Police meets Indian High Commissioner
- High profile repeat offender arrested
Will MDP leadership change?
Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party, MDP may soon have a new leader. MDP founder President Nasheed, who was at the vanguard of the historic democratic reform movement in the Maldives, is very likely to step down from party leadership. According to some political analysts such a change is likely due to the growing split in the party following the successive losses the party has suffered lately. President Nasheed’s resignation on 7 February and MDP losing the Majlis bi-elections for the seats of Kaashidhoo and Thimarafushi constituencies Saturday have cost MDP dearly.
Decisive victories for the new unity Government of President Waheed in the two crucial bi-elections are seen as a big victory for the Government, which former President Nasheed labels illegal for allegedly forcing Nasheed to resign in a military backed coup. Nasheed is relentlessly demanding an independent and external investigation of the change of power on 7 February and early elections. Nasheed and his party MDP claim that the majority of the people support his leadership and want him to return to power.
But the bi election results showed otherwise. The new Government describes their decisive victory in the bi elections as sufficient proof of the popular support enjoyed by the unity Government and the declining trust and support for Nasheed and MDP.
When the provisional results of the bi election was announced, Government Spokesman Abbas Adil Riza said in an interview to Miadhu daily that the world witnessed the support of the majority of the people for the government of President Waheed. He said government coalition parties winning the Majlis seats earlier occupied by MDP has made it very clear to the international community and the MDP that the majority of the people support the current government.
Abbas urged former President Nasheed to immediately stop all his terrorist actions and return back to the political arena.
While the government continues to successfully challenge former President Nasheed over his unfounded allegations against President Waheed, there appears to be widening divisions and cracks within MDP against Nasheed’s leadership weakness. MDP President Ibrahim Didi has blamed President Nasheed for the irreparable losses suffered by MDP Government and the party itself. He has said he will not remain silent any longer to see the party suffer more losses and defeats. Didi’s concerns and worries are echoed by many in the party including a large number among the intelligentsia and the educated.
Didi who has not been able to take up his duties as the new President of MDP due to various pressures, has told the media that it is regrettable that President Nasheed and his supporters are preventing elected office bearers exercising their due power and discharging their legal duties. He blames this deprivation of the powers of the new leaders of the party for the sad result of the bi elections.
While Didi and like minded supporters say so, there are many in the MDP who reject such allegations against Nasheed. They say that President Nasheed will not leave MDP leadership. He will not betray thousands of members and supporters of the party. Their feeling is that MDP is Nasheed, and Nasheed is MDP. There will be no MDP without Nasheed. In their view, Maldives has never seen a leader of the capacity and kindness of Nasheed who has done so much for the welfare of the people. So President Nasheed is the only leader who can still steer MDP and win back the power. With President at the helm, they are confident of winning 2013 presidential election.
There seems to be however, growing anti Nasheed feelings that it is time for him to make an honorable exit. They say Nasheed should be given plaudits for what he has achieved but the mistakes done have severely damaged the party. Nasheed must recognize and respect this unfortunate plight and help strengthen MDP by paving the way for a new leadership.
From the inside of the MDP hierarchy, there is reliable information that several key members of the party advised Nasheed to change his ways when he took very wrong decisions which resulted in negative and damaging implications for his leadership and government. Nasheed did not heed such advice even in the case of arresting Judge Abdulla Mohamed. They knew if things continued that way, it would cost Nasheed and MDP dearly including losing the presidency. That is what happened ultimately. After resigning, Nasheed has admitted to foreign media that arresting the judge was a mistake, but it was too late.
There are speculations MDP’s Parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Ibu who is married to Nasheed’s cousin, is going to be one of the favorite choices to become the top leader and presidential candidate. Ibu has been a veteran MP, intelligent, respected among party MPs and members and even among the opposition. He is a good speaker who speaks with sense and to the point. He thinks wisely when decisions are made. Some members also support party president Ibrahim Didi. Leadership change will naturally be a very difficult issue especially when Nasheed is strongly backed and supported by a large number of members and activists.
Whatever it is, some experts and like minded MDP members and supporters strongly feel that a new leadership in MDP looks inevitable. Former President Nasheed will go. It might happen any time. It may take more time than some people think. Many of them feel this is the right time for such a change in order that the new leadership will get enough time to organize the party and campaign for the 2013 presidential race.