The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s National Council has appointed Solih the interim leader of the party until one can be formally elected to the post.

The appointment was made at the party’s National Council meeting held in Ukulhas, North Ari Atoll, on Thursday evening.

The post became vacant after former Speaker Mohamed Nasheed left the party in June.

Solih is currently abroad and did not attend the council meeting, the second such gathering since the party’s defeat in the presidential elections in September.

In addition, the party body endorsed the inclusion of ministers from the previous government, who are registered members of MDP, into the national council.

At the meeting, the council also decided to request the MDP Parliamentary Group to initiate the process of conducting, through the Parliament, a public inquiry into the purported presence of thousands of Indian troops in the Maldives and their plans to violate the country’s independence and sovereignty, alleged sale of an area of the Maldivian territorial waters, and claims of corruption involving the state.

Proposals for setting up of a committee on government accountability, establishing a five-member committee to oversee matters relating to the upcoming parliamentary elections, and initiating a membership drive were also approved at Thursday’s meeting.

The council further resolved that the MDP will continue to encourage and support the strengthening of the system of governance based on democratic principles and work towards preventing injustice.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim Inaan