A rift has emerged within the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM), which is the smallest political party in the governing coalition, as some of its prominent members have been accused of working against the government. MRM was founded by former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and has yet to decide whether to partner with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) again for the upcoming presidential election. The party is in talks with both MDP and Jumhoory Party (JP), which is part of the current coalition government but has chosen not to continue its partnership with MDP for the September election.
MRM has several members serving in high-ranking positions within the government, including three cabinet ministers, some of whom have pledged their support for President Solih’s re-election. However, the party’s deputy leader, Aminath Nadira, represented the party in a press conference on the Chagos dispute hosted by former attorney general Dr. Mohamed Munawwar and other opposition leaders, leading to conflict within the party.
According to a member of the party, the conflict arose because Nadira represented the party in the press conference without the party’s exco being aware, even though it had decided that the party would issue its own statement and hold its own press conference on the matter. The member also claimed that remarks made by the party’s president, Faris Maumoon, during an emergency exco meeting held on Wednesday night showed that he had decided to form a coalition with JP, indicating that negotiations with MDP were just for show. As a result, some ten members of the party’s exco have decided to leave MRM due to the anti-government views held by the party’s leadership.