Pro-government Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali has said that he had objected to leasing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) to GMR, India even when he had heard it for the first time during former President Mohamed Nasheed's administration.
Speaking during the campaign of the DRP candidate in the upcoming Raa atoll council bi-elections to be held next Saturday Thasmeen had countered the claims that his party supported GMR in operating INIA. On that note, he refuted the claims of DRP's actions and stand over the issues with GMR. He added that his party had objected to the leasing of the airport to GMR for 25 years even from the beginning and DRP's stand remains unchanged even now.
"We did everything possible to stop that from happening. The question is what do we do about it (GMR issue) now?" Thasmeen asked.
He further pointed out that DRP's absence from the press conference held by the pro-government coalition parties had come under heavy criticism. He stressed that when the press conference was held his party was yet to receive a response to the letter sent by DRP to President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik asking his opinion on the issue with GMR.
Thasmeen also said that DRP was not a party that would get emotionally charged and make strong statements over any issue. If the awarding of the airport had in fact been illegitimate, he urged to declare the agreement with GMR invalid. He reiterated his earlier statement by stressing that DRP would welcome a move to do so through the judicial system.
While highlighting the present condition of the Maldives, Thasmeen pointed out that at this moment in time the country was facing major obstacles and challenges. On that note, he detailed that crime was on the rise, the people were divided, the economic state was declining and politics in the country had ventured into the extreme. Hence, Thasmeen who is also the Kendhoo constituency MP stressed that the priority must be to restore peace and stability in the country.