Qasim asks JP members not to partake in opposition alliance’s protest

JP's leader Qasim Ibrahim (L) with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R). (File Photo/Sun)

Jumhoory Party’s (JP) presidential candidate and leader Qasim Ibrahim has urged his party members against partaking in the protest slated for Friday by the opposition alliance against the ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea’s (ITLOS) on the border dispute between Maldives and Mauritius.

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition, MNP and The Democrats – the new political party spearheaded by Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed currently in the process of being formed – established an opposition alliance over their discontentment with the ITLOS’ ruling. The opposition alliance is gearing up to hold a major-scale protest in Male’ City on Friday.

Qasim,  in a message to JP’s council and leadership group urging against participation in this protest, said the party’s members should be able to clearly predict the direction the protest will be headed, and its end result. 

“In consideration of this party’s council’s decision in its latest meeting in addition to the public interest, I believe, this party and its leadership should remain steadfast in prioritizing the course of action which ensures peace and stability during this difficult time,” his message read.

He also reminded the party members of how the 2015 May Day protest unfolded.

Qasim, noting JP decided against partaking in the opposition May Day protest in 2015, said the end result of the protest had been completely different from what they were hoping to acheieve. Qasim stressed that JP decided against partaking in the protest by expecting the actual end result.

“I believe the path to an effective result is to undertake all possible efforts to overturn ITLOS’ decision, meticulously and under the guidance of foreign experts,” he said.

ITLOS, on April 28th, concluded that the conflicting Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between Mauritius and Maldives will be divided between the two using the equidistance formula as argued by Maldives in the case.

Thus, Maldives gains 47,232 square kilometers from the 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute while Mauritius gains 45,331 square kilometers. 

The opposition alliance claim Maldives is entitled to the 95,563 square kilometers of maritime territory in dispute.