Mohamed Nasheed Signed Agreement for Democracy

Former Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed have decided to sign the historical inter-party coalition agreement.

Leaders of the four major parties- Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Nasheed, Jumhooree Party (JP)’s Qasim Ibrahim, Adhaalath Party’s Sheikh Imran Abdulla and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s Maumoon- entered a coalition agreement, agreeing ‘to work jointly and together both in parliament and in the political environment,” to reform the government.

While Maumoon signed on behalf of the ruling PPM, the party has been divided into two factions, as he continues to be involved in a public dispute over leadership with party’s chief advisor and his half-brother, incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.

The agreement says that the parties will work to safeguard civil and political rights, ensure that free and fair elections are held, and ensure that those jailed on politically motivated charges are released.

Nasheed was jailed in 2015 for 13 years for ordering the arrest of a senior judge when he was president in 2012. However, he traveled to Britain last year on medical leave and received asylum there.

Three other leading politicians have also been jailed after trials criticized internationally for a lack of due process.

A 2015 constitutional amendment allowing foreigners to purchase land in the Maldives will also be reversed. His party has accused President Gayoom of planning to sell 21 tiny islands to a member of the Saudi royal family.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom ruled the Maldives with tight controls from 1978 to 2008. Nasheed, who was a pro-democracy activist, was jailed many times under his administration. Gayoom led democratic reforms in his later years as president and lost to Nasheed in the Maldives’ first democratic election, held in 2008.