Maldivian parties inch forward on deal for Parl session

MDP, headed by Nasheed, created chaos in the Parl and prevented the new Prez Mohamed Waheed Hassan from delivering an opening address on March 1.

Male: Secret talks between political parties
in Maldives to break the deadlock over the holding of the
parliamentary session, which was disrupted by ousted President
Mohamed Nasheed`s party, seems to have made some progress.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), headed by Nasheed,
created chaos in the Parliament and prevented the new
President Mohamed Waheed Hassan from delivering an
opening address on March 1, after the government failed to agree
to their demands for an early presidential election.

Parliamentary group leaders have indicated that the
Majlis is to be opened very soon, as secret meetings were
being held among the parties to end the political deadlock.

Sources said that political parties have inched forward
over a confidential arrangement to break the standoff. They
confirmed that parties, including MDP, have agreed to go ahead
with the opening of the parliament.

They said parties have decided to keep the details secret
for the time being as the "disclosure of the details of the
arrangements would work to close the doors of progress".

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Iboo), the MDP Parliamentary group
leader confirmed that the talks were going on and they have
informed the Speaker of the Majlis, Abdullah Shahid, of the

He also confirmed that his party had requested the
Speaker to speed up the process to hold the opening session of
the Majlis as early as possible.

When asked whether the government had agreed to their
demand for an early presidential election, he said that he
"would rather not say anything on the issue". "If I comment on
that, it might disrupt the progress of events," Solih said.

Abdullah Mausoom, the Parliamentary leader of the second
largest political bloc Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), said
they were "impatiently waiting for the opening session of the
Majlis for this year". However, he declined to give any
details about ongoing discussions among the parties.

According to reports, the third largest Progressive Party
of Maldives (PPM) of former dictator Maumoon Gayoom, is not
involved in the discussions. PPM is not officially represented
in the House as none of its lawmakers were elected to the
Majlis as PPM candidates.

Abdullah Yamin, the unofficial Parliamentary leader of
PPM, said his party was looking for an early opening of the
Majlis, even though it is not participating in the ongoing

He said the PPM had sent a letter to the Speaker for an
early opening of the House session. He believed that the
parliament could hold its opening session later this week or
perhaps early next week. He said his party was looking for a
quick action on the matter.

Nasheed, Maldives` first democratically-elected
president, had alleged that he was forced to resign as part of
a "coup". However, the government has denied Nasheed`s
allegation of a coup.

Nasheed wants a foreign body to probe the circumstances
of the "coup" that ousted him last month and plunged the
country into political crisis.

It has sparked unrest in Maldives` over the last
month, with supporters of Nasheed protesting time and again
demanding early elections.

India`s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai visited Maldives
twice to broker a deal between political parties. Mathai had
made it clear that India was just a facilitator in the affairs
and was playing the role as sought by President Hassan.