Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the People’s Majlis and MDP leader, has chastised his own party’s government for refusing to endorse the Hate Speech Bill, claiming that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration is being “monopolized by a minor coalition member.”
Speaker Nasheed stated on Saturday that the main-ruling MDP won the presidential elections by a big margin in 2018 because the people voted in support of the ideals, love of freedom, equality, and rich Maldivian culture and history that the party reflects.
While noting that political progress had been made with the support of coalition partners, Nasheed stated that President Solih’s decision to allow Adhaalath Party to monopolise his every decision clearly shows that the coalition’s current dynamics violate every principle of representative democracy.
Nasheed went on to say that the vast majority of Maldivians are progressive and value liberty, freedom of expression, music, culture, and economic prosperity, as well as moderate religious beliefs.
“Maldivians have voted for progressive candidates who share these views – they did not vote for religious extremists who would deny their liberty and remove the things they love most from our society,” he added.
Speaker Nasheed stated that a government-backed bill was sent to parliament to combat hate-related crimes, citing the assassination attempt on him and the extremism-motivated murders of Dr. Afraasheem, Rilwan, and Yameen. But he claimed that when the “conservative religious parties who are part of a political alliance with the government” objected and stood against the bill, the government withdrew support. Nasheed stated that it was apparent that politicians who backed the bill would be subjected to the same fatal labelling that the bill seeks to prohibit.
“Therefore, if the government is unable to employ the leadership required to support this bill and all it stands for, then I find it very difficult to support the government,” Nasheed said in his statement.
Furthermore, Nasheed stated that the reins of democratic leadership and the course of Maldivian progress must never be handed over “out of fear” to minor coalition partners, and he urged the elected leaders to uphold their contract with the people and defend the MDP’s most fundamental principles.