Supporters of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the Maldivian Development Alliance (MDA) protested against former President Mohamed Nasheed when he arrived in the island of Velidhoo in Noonu atoll for a campaign trip on Friday (November 1).
According to local media reports, supporters of the pro-government parties in a pickup decked with PPM-MDA flags and campaign posters protested using a megaphone and attempted to prevent Nasheed’s team from getting on the island.
Nasheed reportedly alighted with the help of police and MDP supporters. While the presidential candidate shook hands with those gathered at the jetty to greet him at around 11:25am, MDP members made lines on either side of the former president.
While minor scuffles broke out between the rival supporters before the former president’s arrival, police were able to control the situation.
MDP-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV reported that a PPM supporter on the pickup allegedly threw a stone at the television station’s crew, damaging the lens of a camera.
In his speech in Velidhoo, Nasheed said peaceful political activity was necessary for democracy to flourish in the Maldives.
Nasheed said he did not bear any ill will or rancour towards members of rival parties. The role of an opposition party was equally as important as the party in government, he added, which was to ensure that the government delivered on its campaign pledges.