Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim during Thursday, 25 May 2023, council meeting: He criticised the government. Dhauru Photo/ Hussain Sunain

Gasim accuses pres of violating coalition pact in Chagos dispute

After a thorough review, the council agreed to "appeal and try to recover the lost part of the Maldives" in a JP government.

25 May 2023

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim has criticised President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, saying that he had violated the coalition agreement in dealing with the delimitation of the territorial waters between the Maldives and Chagos in the south.

The reason he feels that the president acted in violation of the agreement is that he did not consult the coalition leaders on the issue.

Gasim, who has previously spoken out against the government's stand on the Chagos issue, made another verbal attack on the government over the issue at a Jumhooree Party council meeting at its headquarters in M. Kunuz. The main agenda of Thursday's meeting was to decide on the party's response to the Chagos dispute.

Kendhoo MP Ali Hussain, who has been one of the most vocal opponents of the government in Chagos issue, moved a resolution at the meeting.

Before Ali Hussain moved the resolution, Gasim expressed his views on the issue. He said the issue was put on the agenda again in Thursday’s meeting because a decision was not taken in the past. He said he had made his stand public as the party's leader on the issue.

Gasim said the government came to power through a coalition agreement between four parties, including the Jumhooree Party. Protecting Islam, national identity and independence are the main points of the coalition agreement, he said.

"Any of these things [changing] should be discussed between our [coalition leaders] and according to that discussion, as per the constitution and the law, it will be agreed and signed," he said.

The issue was put on the agenda again, according to Gasim, because:

  • Given the current political situation, it seems important for the party to take a stand once again

  • As the council now has more members than ever before

"We are holding this meeting to make it clear to our dear citizens," he said.

In a resolution submitted by Ali Hussain, he said that due to the April 28 judgement of the International Tribunal for the Law Of the Seas (ITLOS) on the delimitation of maritime waters between Chagos and Maldives, 45,000 square kilometres of the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) available to the Maldives under local law has been lsot. 

Ali Hussain's resolution also referred to the discovery of President Solih's letter to the Prime Minister of Chagos during the hearings.

In the resolution, he called for:

  • Urging the government to release the president's letter and appeal ITLOS’ verdict

  • If the Jumhooree Party wins the presidential election, experts from the Maldives and the world should study the case further with the help of legal experts.

  • After a thorough review, the council agreed to "appeal and try to recover the lost part of the Maldives" in a JP government

The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on April 28 sided with the Maldives in the dispute with Mauritius surrounding the delimitation of the maritime boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the Maldives and the Chagos archipelago, awarding a bigger portion to the Maldives. 

ITLOS noted that the size of the relevant area is calculated to be approximately 92,563 sqkm. The delimitation line allocates to Mauritius 45,331 sqkm and to the Maldives 47,232 sqkm.

ITLOS’ decision has been criticised by opposition politicians in the country, saying it will not be accepted.