Fayyaz alleges PNC spent MVR 60M to ‘buy” MDP MPs

MDP's Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail (R) and then-President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L) (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu Abdulla)

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s chairperson Fayyaz Ismail suggests the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) spent MVR 60 million to have 13 MPs from the MDP to defect to PNC.

In an interview to SanguTV on Wednesday night, Fayyaz said the 13 MPs did not leave the MDP because of anything to do with the party itself.

He acknowledged that there were differences in opinion within the MDP regarding several issues, including approval for the new Cabinet.

“The party’s secretariat’s position to grant approval to all government ministers. But some are of a different opinion. This includes both MPs and non-MPs,” he said.

Fayyaz said the MDP has left the issue of approval for the Cabinet largely to its MPs.

He suggested that the main reason why the PNC sought to have MDP MPs defect was due to concern over the alleged attempt to impeach the president and vice president. He said that the talk of impeachment had been spoken about among MPs in jest.

“But I am beginning to believe the government made the decision to take our MPs because of this concern, and that it involves some major things” he said.

Fayyaz described it as a “big blunder” on the government’s part. He said that he also heard President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu had engaged in talks with leaders of several political parties regarding getting more MPs for PNC.

“I heard the president met with the leaders of some parties and asked for help to get MPs,” he said.

“I heard that the president told leaders of some political parties that he needs MVR 60 million to get MPs.”

Fayyaz said he cannot verify the authenticity of the claims.

13 MPs from the MDP defected to the PNC on December 28.

In 2018, the then-ruling MDP had secured a supermajority in the Parliament with 65 seats. But the numbers dropped after 13 MPs defected to Democrats, and more to PNC. The MDP now has 43 MPs.