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No conducive environment to hold talks with govt: opposition candidate

Fathmath Shaahunaz
18 July 2018, MVT 11:05
Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed Solih speaks to press at MDP's main hub on July 17, 2018. PHOTO: AHMED NISHAATH/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
18 July 2018, MVT 11:05

The current environment is not conducive to hold government-opposition talks, declared the joint opposition's presidential candidate, Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed Solih, on Tuesday.

Speaking to the press after his re-registration for the upcoming election at Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s main hub in capital Male, MP Ibu confirmed that he has been invited to represent the opposition in talks with the government, but refuted rumours that the coalition had accepted the invitation.

"The circumstances are still the same. All our political leaders are behind bars, and thus we cannot place trust in what the government has to say," he said.

Ibu added that the joint opposition was further hesitant to consider entering into discussions with the government in the absence of a mediator.

The parliamentary group leader of MDP additionally accused President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of trying to manipulate the upcoming election by influencing the Elections Commission.

Referring to the electoral watchdog's recent decision to reduce the number of ballot boxes to be placed at resorts to only seven, Ibu proclaimed that the majority of resort workers supported the opposition and alleged that the EC had cut down ballot boxes for resorts in order to minimise the number of votes in the opposition's favour.

All attempts at holding all-party talks had fallen through after the last discussion held in 2015. While the government has on multiple counts invited the opposition parties to the talks, the joint opposition refused to do so unless the government met their conditions first, namely freeing their convicted leaders.

However, the state maintains that it will not accept any provisons brought to the table.

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