At a meeting of MRM's executive committee held earlier this month, party president Faris Maumoon is chairing the meeting. Photo/MRM

MRM begins coalition talks; majority against backing Solih

The council will take a decision after Maumoon arrives in Male and meets President Solih separately.

28 February 2023

By Ahmed Naif

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) council has officially begun discussions on the issue following President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's invitation to form an alliance with MDP in the upcoming presidential elections.

Interestingly, it is learnt that most of the people in the discussions had their opinions not to form an alliance with MDP.

A person who attended the council meeting held by MRM on Monday night to discuss the invitation to form an alliance told Atoll Times on condition of anonymity that all but four of the 20 members who attended the council meeting had plans not to form an alliance with MDP in the presidential elections. He cited the reasons why many people expressed their views in this manner:

  • With the current coalition with MDP MRM did not get its dues from the government

  • The government's promise on reforms had not been fulfilled; for example, the police service was not reformed

  • The government has not performed well in providing certain services to the public 

He, however, added that some people had spoken in favour of forming an alliance with MDP’s presidential candidate, President Solih. According to him, the most vocal advocate among the council members was Heritage Minister and Maumoon's daughter Yumna Maumoon.

"The spirit of the council was seen to be very much towards not forming an alliance with MDP," he said.

Maumoon, who served as MRM's Founder, did not attend Monday night's council meeting as he was not in the Maldives. 

Maumoon and President Solih to hold separate talks

The council member, who spoke to Atoll Times, said that though various members expressed their views during the council meeting, no decision has been taken. He said:

  • The council will take a decision after Maumoon arrives in Male and meets President Solih separately

  • Maumoon has sought an appointment with the president on March 7

  • After that, the MRM council will re-assemble on March 8 or 9 to decide on forming an alliance, the member said

With the presidential election round the corner, MDP and PPM have invited parties to form alliances for the presidential elections. Meanwhile, the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) led by businessman Ahmed Siyam Mohamed has decided to form an alliance with President Solih.

Jumhooree Party and MRM are yet to take a call on the invitation. Jumhooree Party said the decision would be taken by the party's council, which was elected last weekend.