MRM rejects president’s coalition invitation

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (L) pays courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) at the President's Office on November 22, 2018. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) has rejected the invitation extended by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to partner with the main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for the upcoming presidential election.

In a statement on Thursday, MRM said that top officials from the party and MDP had engaged in discussions in response to the invitation, during which the party made clear the policies it supports.

MRM said that following talks with MDP on May 1, the proposals made by MDP were presented to MRM’s executive committee for a decision.

However, the party’s executive committee could not agree with MDP’s proposals, and decided to reject the president’s offer.

MRM, founded by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, had been part of the coalition which helped elect President Solih to office in 2018, but had remained undecided about supporting his re-election bid, until now.

The party had announced last week that it planned on backing its president, and former Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon as its presidential candidate.

However, the decision was tabled after MRM entered talks with Jumhoory Party (JP) regarding supporting a common presidential candidate.

The party is also locked in a court battle with the Elections Commission (EC), which decided in May to dissolve the party for failure to bring up its membership to 3,000, as mandated by law.

MRM had called the decision of the commission to dissolve the party “illegal and corrupt”, and filed a case with the Civil Court over the issue.

The court granted an injunction to freeze the enforcement of EC’s decision in May.