The Edition


Main opposition accuses Govt of putting off all-party talks

Fathmath Shaahunaz
13 December 2016, MVT 13:43
Tamrat Samuel, senior advisor to the United Nations’ department of political affairs, meets with Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Asif on his last visit.
Fathmath Shaahunaz
13 December 2016, MVT 13:43

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Tuesday accused the Maldives government of making futile excuses to hinder the long planned political parties’ sit-down to overcome the current political strife in the archipelago.

The previous endeavour to revive all-party talks last November fell through due to lack of cooperation from certain opposition parties by refusing to submit the names of their representatives for the sit-down, the government had earlier declared.

Neither MDP nor its ally and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party had obliged the President’s Office’ appeal to submit names for the talks.

MDP’s deputy leader Mohamed Shifaz declared, “The President’s Office cannot order around any organ of a party. It’s not us that’s refusing to participate in the talks, it’s the government that’s refusing to proceed with it.”

Shifaz also called to commence talks with Tamrat Samuel, a senior advisor to the United Nations’ department of political affairs that was appointed to mediate the all-party sit down.

Meanwhile, the UN had vowed its aid to conduct the talks, declaring that honest discussion is necessary to end political turmoil and work for the betterment of the nation by fortifying democratic principles and independent institutions.

Over a year has passed with attempts to hold all-party talks between the government and political parties without any progress. Tamrat Samuel had previously arrived in the Maldives last July to hold “proxy” talks with political parties separately, but the endeavour did not yield much results.

Mihaaru understands that some foreign countries are trying to hold the talks abroad in Sri Lanka or Malta. While Mihaaru has not been able to gather much information about the work done in Malta, sources state that a number of foreign embassies in Sri Lanka have proposed to Lankan government to host the Maldives’ talks.

However, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Mohamed Shainee, who will represent the government in the talks, declared that there is no point of holding internal political discussions of the Maldives in Sri Lanka.