The new administration is shifting its stance on transparency regarding agreements signed with India. Despite earlier criticisms of the previous government’s lack of disclosure, President Dr Mohamed Muizzu’s government now says full details of the deals cannot be made public due to diplomatic protocols. Instead, accountability will lie with Parliament to review and oversee the content of these sensitive documents.

President’s Office spokesperson Heena Waleed acknowledged the concerns raised by the People’s National Congress-Progressive Party of Maldives (PNC-PPM) about the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) agreements, particularly the Uthuru Thilafalhu Agreement and the Hydrography Agreement. The PNC-PPM, who were in opposition at the time, criticised the MDP-led government for not sharing information with Parliament or seeking its approval.

Waleed emphasised that the new government maintains the importance of transparency but asserted that certain protocols restrict full public disclosure of bilateral agreements. Instead, she proposed that these agreements should be disclosed to Parliament or a special parliamentary committee.

This represents a notable shift from the current administration’s prior promises to publicly disclose any agreements that might affect the country’s sovereignty and independence. The new stance puts the burden on Parliament to uphold transparency, while leaving the public outside the loop.