President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Wednesday declared that his ruling party's coalition partner, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), is still with the government, amidst rumours that MDA's leader Ahmed Siyam was planning to join the opposition coalition.
The president made the proclamation while criticising the joint opposition, accusing its leaders of lacking trust and faith in each other. He stated that should that trust exist, the opposition parties would not be trying to put together a law to operate the coalition.
Yameen declared that the coalition formed with his ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) for the 2013 election, still existed with MDA as a loyal partner. The only parties to have left the coalition were Jumhooree Party and a certain faction of PPM, he said, referring to the supporters of his estranged half-brother and former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
"MDA still remains in coalition with us," said Yameen, who is contesting for a second term in this year's presidential race.
The president did not elaborate further on the rumours of opinion clashes between PPM and MDA.
Recent talks circulating on social media claim that MDA's leader Ahmed Siyam was falling out with President Yameen, and has decided not to support the president for a second term. The rumours further claimed Siyam was planning to join forces with the opposition coalition.
The allegations arose over the lack of Siyam's active involvement in PPM's presidential campaign trails in capital Male and the atolls. MDA has also not renewed its coalition agreement with PPM yet, further fuelling the rumours.
In the midst of these allegations, PPM and MDA have commenced talks regarding renewal of the agreement, headed by PPM's deputy leader and Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer, and MDA's deputy leader and Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ali Mauroof.
Meanwhile, neither Siyam nor MDA has made any official comments regarding the rumours about the ruling coalition.