Pro-government political parties have created a Joint Parliamentary Group (JPG) excluding the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and have appointed members to important positions in the JPG.
Leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Mulaku constituency MP Abdulla Yamin was elected the leader of the JPG, while Gemanafushi constituency MP Ilham Ahmed was elected Deputy Leader along with Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) member and Vilufushi constituency MP Riyaz Rasheed.
JPG also appointed five other members as whips. They are PPM’s members Nilandhoo constituency MP Abdul Muhsin Hameed, Maavashu constituency MP Abdul Azeez Jama Abu Bakr, Ungoofaaru constituency MP Dr Afrashim Ali, Vaikaradhoo constituency MP Ali Arif and member of Adhalath Party (AP) and Faresmaathodaa constituency MP Ibrahim Muhthalib.
Riyaz Rasheed said today that prior to the fall of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration on February 7, a joint parliamentary group had existed as well within the then opposition, but the reason behind re-establishing the joint parliamentary group is to become more active as a group given the recent changes in the political environment.
He also added that following the creation of the JPG, PPM will no longer hold separate parliamentary group meetings but that PPM will from now on discuss issues at JPG meetings.
“The whole Joint Parliamentary Group will discuss matters and then decide on what to do. Separate parliamentary group meetings will not be held by PPM from now on,” he said.
When asked why DRP was not included in the JPG Riyaz said that “they have joined MDP” (Maldivian Democratic Party).
“So why invite them to join us. They vote against the government on matters submitted to the parliament against the government. They had and still are conspiring with MDP,” said Riyaz who has been a constant source of criticism for DRP.
The JPG is currently comprised of PPM, DQP and Jumhoory Party (JP) and several MPs with no political party affiliation.
Though Riyaz claims that DRP has been conspiring with MDP, last week during a DRP meeting in Haa Dhaal atoll Naifaru DRP’s leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali said that though political rivals assume DRP is liaising with MDP that it is a “blatant lie”.