Shainee: No grounds to blame government for failed sit-down

There is zero ground to blame government for the failure of the discussions between government and opposition parties to reconcile differences, says Chief Negotiator and Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. Mohamed Shainee.

Speaking during a press conference held at President’s Office this Tuesday morning to brief the media regarding the invitation for a sit-down, Dr. Shainee said the government had compromised as much as it could.

He said that the opposition had conditioned the dismissal of sentence against former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and permission for his to participate in the upcoming presidential elections.

He said the opposition was putting the welfare of specific individuals before the welfare of the entire country.

“You will know how much the government compromised to initiate all-party talks. We said someone sentenced to prison was not up for discussion. But we let go of all our conditions. It was a pre-condition that President Nasheed be allowed to participate in the 2018 election. But they [the opposition] aren’t happy with similar preconditions made by the government coalition. It’s all one-sided. They realized they wouldn’t get their way and they bowed out of the talks,” said Shainee.

The government sent a letter to the opposition, including former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, inviting them for all-party talks with the government on August 30. Shainee said none of the opposition parties had responded to the letter.

Shainee said the opportunity for a sit-down with the government remained open to the opposition. But, said Shainee, issued regarding those sentenced to prison, such as Nasheed, should be resolved within the legal system.