JP leader rejects opposition alliance’s protest over ITLOS ruling on Maldives-Mauritius border dispute

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In a recent statement, Qasim Ibrahim, the leader of the Jumhoory Party (JP) and presidential candidate, expressed doubt regarding the effectiveness of the planned protest by the opposition alliance against the ruling of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the border dispute between the Maldives and Mauritius. The opposition alliance comprises the PPM-PNC coalition, ‘The Democrats’ faction within the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), JP, and the Maldives National Party (MNP).

Qasim urged members of his party not to participate in the protest, stating his belief that it would not yield any constructive outcomes. In an interview with VTV, he described the event as a politically motivated spectacle, stressing the importance of maintaining peace and stability within the nation. Qasim emphasized that the protest would only disrupt public order without producing tangible results.

“We are committed to pursuing actions that lead to constructive outcomes. It is not possible to remove the president from his post, and the ITLOS ruling cannot be altered either,” asserted Qasim. He proposed that the most effective approach to resolving the maritime dispute was through meticulous efforts guided by foreign experts to recover the lost territory of the Maldives. Qasim expressed confidence that his government, if given the opportunity, could make significant progress in this endeavor within the first six months.

While the JP stands firmly with Maldivian citizens on the maritime border dispute, Qasim made it clear that the party does not endorse participating in the protest to incite public unrest. However, he clarified that JP members who wish to join the protest in an individual capacity would face no obstructions.

On April 28th, ITLOS concluded that the conflicting Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between Mauritius and the Maldives would be divided using the equidistance formula advocated by the Maldives during the case proceedings. As a result, the Maldives will gain approximately 47,232 square kilometers from the disputed maritime territory, while Mauritius will acquire around 45,331 square kilometers.