The Jumhooree Party (JP) and Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) President and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed's faction of the party on Wednesday night decided to compile a manifesto on how the two groups can work together.
After a meeting held at the request of Nasheed at JP's main party hub, "Kunooz" in Malé, JP's Deputy Leader Ameen Ibrahim said that, during the hour-and-a-half-long meeting, the two groups discussed potential collaborations.
The main objective of political parties coming to power is to serve the people, and JP and Nasheed supporters in the MDP exchanged views on policies and programs the two groups can work together to provide, Ameen said.
He added that this was just the beginning of their political affiliations.
West-Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef, who is a close associate of Nasheed, said even though the two groups have agreed to make a manifesto, the leaders of the two sides would have the final say in the matter.
MP Latheef said they will be continuing these discussions next week as well.
"In the discussion held tonight, we decided to make a manifesto since we have decided to work together. We're not the ones who are going to be deciding anything on behalf of the party. The Jumhooree Party will also consult its leader to figure out what should be added to [the manifesto]. And we'll also be discussing with President Nasheed how to proceed," MP Latheef said.
While MP Latheef claimed that the meeting was held at the request of Nasheed, on behalf of MDP, the move has been criticized since MDP already has an elected presidential candidate, incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
However, MP Latheef maintains that Nasheed is the President of the party; therefore, he and the State Trading Organisation's (STO) Managing Directior, Hussain Amr, met with JP at the party's president's request.
Prior to MDP's primary election held on January 28, which Nasheed contested and lost to Solih, he was against MDP forming a coalition for the upcoming presidential election. However, his tone has changed since the defeat, and he has been expressing support for the JP and its leader, Qasim Ibrahim.
When MP Latheef was asked about this potential alliance, he said that Nasheed will always prioritize and work for the betterment of MDP members.
The JP, which is part of the ruling coalition, has already announced that it will be contesting separately in the September 8 presidential election. Meanwhile, the President has said he is awaiting a formal response from JP to his request to continue with the existing coalition.
After the MDP primary, Nasheed formed a separate branch within MDP under the name "Fikurrehge Dhirun", which translates to "reviving an ideology." Central-Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed, who is actively involved in this faction, said last month that they have amassed about 50,000 endorsements for the faction.