Maldivian opposition coming together against President Abdulla Yameen

By: |
Colombo | Published: March 27, 2017 4:13:10 PM

Exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed said he will cooperate with ex-strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and two other leaders Qasim Ibrahim and Sheikh Imran Abdulla for "restoring Maldivian democracy.

President Abdulla Yameen. (Reuters)

The Maldivian opposition leaders have joined hands to fight against incumbent President Abdulla Yameen’s regime and work for restoring the country’s democracy and ensuring free and fair elections. Exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed said he will cooperate with ex-strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and two other leaders — Qasim Ibrahim and Sheikh Imran Abdulla — for “restoring Maldivian democracy, ensuring free and fair elections, and protecting Maldivians’ Constitutional rights”.

The four leaders signed a declaration setting out a common political vision for the Maldives and agreeing to use their representation in parliament and in the political sphere to achieve the common objectives, Nasheeed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) announced.

The declaration states that the four leaders and their parties will work together in order to safeguard the tenets of Islam, independence, sovereignty and nationalism; safeguard civil and political rights abrogated from citizen ensure elections held in the Maldives are free and fair in which candidates of political parties choosing are allowed to contest.

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After sealing the agreement, Gayoom said, “We are working together on creating a genuine democratic environment where the separation of powers is ensured, human rights respected, and transparency and accountability firmly established”.

Nasheed said, “Over the past decades, the Maldives has faced many challenges and experienced many things. Today, the need to find common ground has never been greater. We must bring the country back onto the democratic path, and we can only do that together.”

Last month, Nasheed said he would return to run for election as president of the troubled Indian Ocean nation, despite facing jail after a controversial conviction on terror-related charges.

He became the Maldives’ first democratically elected president in 2008, but was narrowly defeated in 2013 elections by Yameen.

He was later jailed on terrorism charges. The Maldives constitution bars Nasheed from being a candidate because of the controversial 2015 criminal conviction. But the former leader expects the restriction to be lifted in response to international pressure.

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