Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed has said that he finds it “very difficult” to support the incumbent administration, after claiming that the government had withdrawn support for its own hate crime bill sent for parliamentary consideration.
Nasheed said this in an open letter publicized by his office on Saturday.
Noting that MDP won the 2018 presidential elections by a wide margin because people voted for the party and its principles and love for freedom, despite having formed a coalition with three other parties. MDP joined Jumhooree Party, Adhaalth Party and Maldives Reform Movement for the 2018 elections, and incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was selected as their candidate; Nasheed was unable to run for presidency at the time.
Accusing President Solih of allowing Adhaalath Party to monopolize his decisions, the former president said that this clearly shows that the “current dynamics of this coalition violate every principle of our representative democracy”.
Further stressing that the vast majority of Maldivians “voted for progressive candidates”, Nasheed said they “did not vote for religious extremists who would deny their liberty and remove the things they love most from society”.
While Nasheed claimed that the government has withdrawn support for the hate crime bill that it had submitted following objection from religious conservative parties in the coalition, he said the politicians who supported the bill were exposed to the “same deadly labelling that the bill seeks to stop”.
Nasheed added that it will be very difficult for him to continue supporting the government, if it is unable to employ the leadership requited to support the bill and all it stands for.
The MDP president added that the party leadership “requires not only diplomacy and compromise, but also courage and steadfastness on the issues that are fundamental to what [the party] has always believed in”.
While the revelation comes a little over a month since the assassination attempt on his life on May 6, Nasheed in the open letter stated that he was targeted by Jihadi indoctrinated groups. Noting that the government recognized the root of the issue as the labeling of people by radicals Islamists as un-Islamic, the former president said that recent history shows that people who are targeted by this labeling and hate crimes are politicians, journalists and every-day people who exercise free speech”.
The announcement also comes not long after Nasheed expressed interest in running in the 2023 presidential elections.