Waiting to see if MDP kicks JP out from coalition: Qasim

Leader of the Jumhoory Party (JP) and MP for Maamigili constituency, Qasim Ibrahim | Photo: Mohamed Auzam

Male’, Maldives – Leader of Jumhoory Party (JP) and MP for Maamigili constituency, Qasim Ibrahim has said that they would stay until the party is kicked out of the coalition by MDP even though they are being treated unfairly by the coalition.

While speaking on a Raajje TV program, JP leader told that the government coalition wasn’t treating JP as how he had expected. Qasim also pointed out that they made coalitions with three administrations including the current one and that JP did not get any results which they had expected. He said that that normally JP is getting ‘zero’ results from the coalitions.

He also told that the last two coalitions were dismantled by other parties and that he has better hopes with this coalition as the coalition hasn’t been broken up as two years pass.

Qasim added that even though the coalition was not going according to the agreement made by all the parties, JP would continue to support President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration and that they would remain in the coalition until they were kicked out.

“We are waiting to see if MDP kicks us out of this coalition. Even if the things are not going 100 percent accordingly to the agreement, we are waiting to see if MDP removes us and throws us out of this coalition. We aren’t planning to break off from the coalition on our own. We want to hold on to the promises and pledges we have made” Qasim told.

He also told that the presidents reassurance that he would maintain the coalition was a good decision and that everyone in the coalition must stay true to the promises they had made.

Qasim Ibrahim has been supportive of President Ibrahim Mohamed solih since he came to power and has been defending the government on different platforms.

Recently Qasim had also defended the proposed state budget for 2021 stating that those who are criticising the budget want to topple the current administration. Qasim said that the proposed MVR 34.7 billion budget for 2021 is very satisfactory and that previous budgets were also in deficit.

Qasim Ibrahim was arrested during the previous administration stating that he had attempted to bribe lawmakers in order to win the no-confidence vote against parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, held on March 27, 2017 and is attempting to influence the no-confidence motion against the deputy speaker, which is scheduled for April 11, 2017.

The charges also stated that Qasim has been attempting to influence the security forces as well. Furthermore, noting that Qasim’s actions show that he is working to unlawfully topple an elected government, the Criminal Court deemed Qasim a threat to national security.

He was sentenced to three years, two months and 12 days in prison on attempted bribery in August 2017. The charges were put forth under Section 510 of the Penal Code – on ‘bribery and official misconduct’ – claiming that he had attempted to influence the authority of a public official.

While he has sentenced in absentia as he was admitted at hospital at the time of the verdict hearing, he was granted medical leave to Singapore in September 2017 where he had to undergo heart surgery. He then traveled to Germany, under a special permit from German authorities, in November where he took political asylum.

He returned to Maldives recently this year, after the High Court released him on bail until the end of his appeal. Qasim played a crucial role in bringing down the former administration and was one of the first to join the current coalition.