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Nasheed reappoints all 13 cabinet ministers

world Updated: Jul 07, 2010 22:39 IST

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Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed Wednesday reappointed all 13 ministers of the cabinet who had resigned last month, in a bid to end the political crisis in the country.

The 13 ministers had resigned en-masse on June 29 citing attempts by some members of the People's Majlis to usurp the powers of the executive.

They also alleged that attempts were made to block government legislation in parliament and initiate no-confidence motions against ministers on spurious grounds.

While resigning the ministers called on the President to investigate why certain MPs were working against the government, citing allegations of bribery and corruption within the Majlis.

On June 29, Maldives Police Service arrested two parliamentarians, Abdulla Yameen, leader of the People's Association party and former President Gayoom’s half brother, and Gasim Ibrahim, head of the Jumhooree Party.

They were arrested on suspicion of bribing fellow parliamentarians to vote against the government. The two MPs are currently being held under house arrest in accordance with a judicial warrant, the Maldives President's office said here.

Speaking at a press conference held shortly after presenting the Ministers with their letters of appointment, President Nasheed said his government would "work towards fulfilling its pledges to the Maldivian people."

The President noted that the government has investigated the reasons why cabinet members felt they had to resign and the police have taken appropriate action.

Nasheed reiterated that only a small number of MPs are implicated in alleged corruption.

"The reputation of the People's Majlis should not be tarnished because of corruption allegations against a few parliamentarians," Nasheed said.

The President also confirmed that he has held talks with Thasmeen Ali MP, leader of the main opposition party, the Dhievhi Rayyithunge Party, in order to amicably resolve the current political situation.

The President said he sees "no valid reason" why Majlis members should not give the cabinet Ministers their consent, the President's office statement said.

Opposition parties have been demanding resignation of Nasheed, amid allegations in the media that some of their MPs tried to bribe colleagues in Parliament to vote down government bills like those on privatisation and to support a no-confidence motion. Maldivian authorities have said that a probe would be ordered on the charges.

Earlier, during a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nasheed had said that he had held discussions with political parties on resolving the current crisis and would appoint a Cabinet soon.

Rajapaksa and Nasheed had also discussed ways to enhance the existing close friendly relations between their countries and explored new areas for bilateral cooperation, said a statement issued by the Maldivian President's office.