Male: Maldivian President
Mohamed Nasheed on Wednesday reappointed all 13 ministers of the
cabinet who had resigned last month, in a bid to end the
political crisis in the country.
The 13 ministers had resigned en-masse on June 29
citing attempts by some members of the People`s Majlis to
usurp the powers of the executive.
They also alleged that attempts were made to block
government legislation in parliament and initiate
no-confidence motions against ministers on spurious grounds.
While resigning the ministers called on the President
to investigate why certain MPs were working against the
government, citing allegations of bribery and corruption
within the Majlis.
On June 29, Maldives Police Service arrested two
parliamentarians, Abdulla Yameen, leader of the People`s
Association party and former President Gayoom?s half brother,
and Gasim Ibrahim, head of the Jumhooree Party.
They were arrested on suspicion of bribing fellow
parliamentarians to vote against the government. The two MPs
are currently being held under house arrest in accordance with
a judicial warrant, the Maldives President`s office said here.
Speaking at a press conference held shortly after
presenting the Ministers with their letters of appointment,
President Nasheed said his government would "work towards
fulfilling its pledges to the Maldivian people."
The President noted that the government has
investigated the reasons why cabinet members felt they had to
resign and the police have taken appropriate action.
Nasheed reiterated that only a small number of MPs are
implicated in alleged corruption.
"The reputation of the People`s Majlis should not be
tarnished because of corruption allegations against a few
parliamentarians," Nasheed said.
The President also confirmed that he has held talks
with Thasmeen Ali MP, leader of the main opposition party, the
Dhievhi Rayyithunge Party, in order to amicably resolve the
current political situation.
The President said he sees "no valid reason" why
Majlis members should not give the cabinet Ministers their
consent, the President`s office statement said.
Opposition parties have been demanding resignation of
Nasheed, amid allegations in the media that some of their MPs
tried to bribe colleagues in Parliament to vote down
government bills like those on privatisation and to support a
no-confidence motion. Maldivian authorities have said that a
probe would be ordered on the charges.
Earlier, during a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nasheed had said that he had held
discussions with political parties on resolving the current
crisis and would appoint a Cabinet soon.
Rajapaksa and Nasheed had also discussed ways to
enhance the existing close friendly relations between their
countries and explored new areas for bilateral cooperation,
said a statement issued by the Maldivian President`s office.
Article 129 (a) of the Constitution states that there
shall be a Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the President,
with responsibility for the duties and functions assigned to
them by the President.
Article 129 (d) says the President shall submit to the
People`s Majlis, within seven days of making appointments to
the Cabinet, the names of the appointees to the Cabinet for
the consent of the People`s Majlis.
They exchanged views on the current political
situation in Maldives and ways to resolve the issue.
Nasheed thanked Rajapaksa for accepting his invitation
to visit the country, especially at a time when it was facing
political problems. Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka viewed Maldives
as "a friend" and it was its "duty" to assist the nation in
every possible way.
Earlier, Nasheed hosted a luncheon in honour of the
Sri Lankan President, who reaffirmed the "friendship and
goodwill" of his country`s people towards people of Maldives.
He also said the relations between the two countries,
in both good and bad ties, had strengthened and that the
excellent people-to-people contacts had been "a strong
foundation" of close bilateral ties.
In his remarks, Nasheed highlighted the historical
relations between Maldives and Sri Lanka. He noted the many
similarities between the two peoples and said that Maldives
"will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Sri Lanka."
"It doesn`t matter who is in government of Maldives or
who is in government in Sri Lanka. We are same people and we
will stand together and we will stay together," he said.
Rajapaksa, who arrived here this morning, was
welcomed at Male`s International Airport by Vice President
Mohamed Waheed, following which he went to the Official Jetty
where he was greeted by President Nasheed.
A bugle call was sounded on Rajapaksa arrival and he
was given a seven-gun salute. Rajapaksa also inspected the
guard of honour.