New Delhi, May 17: A new crisis is brewing in Maldives where several members of the main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) loyal to the party's leader Mohamed Nasheed have resigned.
According to local newspapers, Nasheed initiated a separate political movement within MDP, 'Fikuregge Dhirun', following his loss in MDP's presidential primary held back in January. After major conflicts with the government and its policies – all lawmakers from the faction resigned from MDP on Wednesday.
Among the notable departures are twelve members of Parliament, including Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla; however, Nasheed has not resigned from the party and continues to remain the speaker of the Parliament.
Despite these resignations, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih maintains complete control of the Parliament or Majlis so far, backed by the support of 56 MPs.
This surprising development follows a request from MDP's parliamentary group earlier in the week, urging action against Parliamentarian Ali Azim. Azim had allied with opposition parties, namely the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Jumhoory Party (JP), and Maldives National Party (MNP). Azim has accused the government of failing to safeguard the interests of the Maldivian people in a case filed with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) concerning the disputed maritime territory between the Maldives and Mauritius. On Tuesday, the party's disciplinary committee decided to expel Azim from the MDP.
Nasheed expressed his anger over the disciplinary committee's decision to expel Azim, who supported Nasheed and imposed a one-year ban on his re-entry to the party.
Previously, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed had criticized President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, citing negligence on his part in the loss of a portion of the Maldives' maritime territory in the border dispute with Mauritius.