Thursday 28th Sep 2023
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People's Progressive party

Opposition Pledges to Appeal ITLOS Decision and Restore Maldives' Lost EEZ

The Progressive Congress Coalition has expressed strong disapproval of the government's handling of the recent loss of 45,331 km2 of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to Mauritius, following a judgment by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on April 28, 2023. The coalition has blamed President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, and Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath for causing "irreparable damages" to the Maldivian state, its people, and particularly the families who rely on the fisheries sector for their livelihoods.
The opposition party also criticized the government's sudden decision to change its long-standing stance on the Chagos islands' sovereignty, accusing it of being driven by illicit dealings. The party pointed out that the ITLOS judgment was largely influenced by a letter sent by President Solih to his Mauritian counterpart in 2023, which stated the Maldives' support for Mauritius' claim over the Chagos islands – a shift from the previous stance held since 1996.
The coalition further highlighted that the ruling party parliamentarians have alleged that President Solih and Foreign Minister Shahid received a $500 million bribe in exchange for changing the government's position on the Chagos islands, which further compromised the nation's sovereignty.
The Progressive Congress Coalition condemned the actions of the government, asserting that the responsible parties should be held accountable for their negligence. The coalition has vowed to bring those involved to justice and to appeal the ITLOS judgment in international courts to reclaim the lost areas of the Maldivian EEZ.