Chairperson of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Moosa 'Reeko' Manik said that the party will not join the Leaders' Dialogue to talk over an agenda of by President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik after ditching the agenda approved by the political parties.
The National Steering Committee of MDP had decided to not join the talks which were being held to restore peace and tranquility in the country. The government has been quick to blame the MDP for the stalled the Leaders’ Dialogue and stressed that the discussion will be further pursued in the Parliament.
Regarding continuing the Leaders’ Dialogue via the Parliament, Moosa said that MDP’s parliamentary group will then decide to join the talks or not, but stressed that the party is not ready to conduct talks on an agenda solely approved by President Waheed.
Moosa stressed that MDP is always keen to find a solution through dialogue, but that MDP does not want to continue with the Leaders’ Dialogue if the agenda is not collectively agreed upon by the partaking parties.
“We’re not going there to talk on matters that President Waheed approves of, and we will not go there to follow a course of action proposed by him,” Moosa said.
He pointed out that it was included in the agenda to discuss ways to strengthen democracy under all party cooperation, to include MDP in the government, to find ways to implement the recommendations made in the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CNI) report, to discuss an early election, from which President Waheed had dismissed including MDP in the government and holding an early election.
“That was a slap by President Waheed on the faces of the political stakeholders. That was not directed at MDP. It saying that no other political party can talk of it anywhere where MDP is present,” Moosa said.
He said that if the government wanted to hold an independent and fair election, talks cannot be held after arresting MDP’s Presidential candidate and leaders.
He said that the “government has to” talk on the agenda set and agreed by all political parties and they will bring “the government to the discussion table.”
“There is no other way MDP will sit down for talks. The blame cannot be dumped on MDP solely. The agenda was drafted by the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), People’s Alliance (PA), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and MDP on mutual agreement,” he explained.