Maldivian Democratic Party

Abdullah Shahid Appointed Prez Of Maldivian Democratic Party

Maldivian Democratic Party

The former Maldivian minister of foreign affairs, Abdullah Shahid was appointed as the president of the country’s largest opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party on Tuesday.

This comes after former party president Mohammed Nasheed left the party on June 21 last year, Adhadhu reported on Tuesday.

Adhadhu is a local Maldivian media outlet.

According to the report, the party presidential post was temporarily held by former President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih.

Shahid served as the speaker of the Maldivian Parliament and President of the 76th session of the General Assembly

After being announced as the party president, Abdullah Shahid posted on X, “Alhamdulillah! I take on the immense responsibilities of the President of the Maldivian Democratic Party, with the trust of all party members and determined to take this Party forward with renewed determination. By the will of the Almighty Allah SWT, MDP will fulfill the hopes of this nation and our beloved citizens.”

Earlier, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats jointly issued a joint press statement, labelling the shift in foreign policy against India as ‘extremely detrimental’ to the country’s long-term development.

The statement served to reassert and affirm the opposition’s belief that “alienating any development partner, and especially the country’s most long-standing ally will be extremely detrimental to the long-term development of the country”.

The opposition further underscored that “stability and security in the Indian Ocean is vital to the stability and security of the Maldives.”

Both the MDP and The Democrats emphasized the critical need for consecutive governments to maintain the ability “to work with all development partners for the benefit of the people of the Maldives, as the Maldives has traditionally done”.

They expressed the view that a departure from the historical collaboration with India could potentially jeopardise the country’s stability and progress.

A recent Reuters report stated that a Chinese research vessel was heading to the Maldives, adding that the timing of the development was significant, coming close on the heels of Maldivian President Muizzu’s recent state visit to China, during which the two leaders aimed at strengthening ties.

Responding to the report, the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the island country has always been a welcoming destination for vessels of ‘friendly nations’ and continues to host both civilian and military vessels making port calls for peaceful purposes.

The development, however, has raised concerns in New Delhi, as India has previously viewed the presence of such vessels near its shores, including in Sri Lanka in 2022, as problematic, Reuters added in its report.

India and the Maldives on January 14 “agreed to fast-track the withdrawal of Indian military personnel” from the island nation, according to the Maldives’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The removal of Indian troops in the Maldives was the main campaign plank of Muizzu’s party during the Presidential elections. Currently, there are around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, stationed On the second day of assuming office, Muizzu officially requested the Indian government to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives.

Apart from the call for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel, a massive row erupted after a Maldivian deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging and unsavoury references to Primer Minister Narendra Modi’s recent Lakshadweep visit and call to development the Indian archipelago as a global retreat for beach tourism.

The Maldives government, however, distanced itself from the remarks.

Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moosa Zameer, said the remarks against foreign leaders are “unacceptable” and do not reflect the official position of the government. (ANI)

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