The Maldives’ short democratic campaign has seen several plot twists over the past 15 years. MPs’ councilors changing their parties, MPs changing their whole political routes, we have even seen a party leadership abandoning their party and joined forces with once their biggest rivals. But there is one constant in our politics, winning a presidential election with a coalition and shortly after, that coalition dismantle.
From today’s headlines we are seeing that ruling party, MDP has divided and former President and current Speaker of the Parliament, Nasheed has decided to split ways with his best friend, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Nasheed’s messages to MDP leadership WhatsApp group today showed a lot of emotions. Anger, betrayal and heartbreak could be a few to be deciphered from his messages. “When it comes to personal matters, we will always stand together. He is Ibu Dhonbe to my children, but all political relations with the President and I, have ceased to exist, effective immediately.” Nasheed said in his messages. President is yet to comment on this separation.
A divide inside the ruling party is nothing new to Maldivian Politics. Former President Maumoon Abdul Qayoom was a key figure in his younger brother, Yameen Abdul Qayoom’s presidential campaign. With Maumoon’s work, Yameen was elected the President in 2013. But later after political differences, Maumoon left his brother’s side, left his own party he himself founded resulting him ending up in jail with his own son and son-in-law along him.
Few years before Yameen’s presidential win, Maumoon also left the first party he founded, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) after failing to grab back party’s leadership from his once closest aide and running mate in the 2008 elections. Maumoon left the reins to Thasmeen and decided to retire from politics after his loss to Nasheed in 2008, but came back soon enough to grab the reins back. Only this time, Thasmeen wasn’t ready to hand them over.
Resulting a crack in the middle of the party, forming Z-DRP and soon after a new party, PPM.
Fast forwarded to today, the current political situation seems somewhat familiar to those two events in more than one ways. With Presiden’t Nasheed’s announcement of parting ways with President Solih, he also announced that he is willing to work with his once biggest rival, former President Yameen and his PPM.
This begs only one question. Is there going to be a Z-MDP or an N-MDP? Or is it going to be another ‘PPM’? Also, is Nasheed and his loyal followers ready to shake the hands of Yameen, who they once so passionately called ‘a thief’ and the destroyer of democracy?