Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential primary candidate Abdulla Yameen has claimed that recent defamatory allegations made against him are baseless and untrue.
Speaking at a rally in Addu City on Thursday (March 21), Yameen revealed that he had been accused of several issues, including holding large sums of money in foreign banks, local media reported.
Responding to the accusations, Yameen stated that “none of those stories are true”, asking people not to believe them.
“I have been accused of holding large sums of money in different accounts. I’m not responding to these allegations. But the people who work with me need public confidence.
“I want to say to you, that there are several allegations targeted at me. But those allegations are baseless and unfounded. None of those stories are true. Don’t believe them,” SunOnline quoted Yameen as saying.
Yameen had stated he did not want to comment further on the matter, and that he did not wish to respond to the claims against him.
Yameen, who is the half brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, claimed that if the PPM wins the presidential election this year, the Maldives would experience “prosperity similar to, or even better than, the past 30 years.”
In reference to a number of young individuals who reportedly praised Yameen during the rally, the PPM presidential primary candidate said while he cannot accept constant praise, continuous criticism could also become an issue.
“At rallies like this I often hear about my services. I feel disinclined to sit and listen when people talk about my services. But this is a practice introduced by young people.
“But before they take it too far, I want to say, I may not be able to accept continuous praise; but at the same time, continuous criticism could also lead to displeasure,” Yameen was quoted as saying.
Both Abdulla Yameen and Umar Naseer are currently campaigning to win the PPM’s presidential candidate slot for the upcoming presidential elections, to be held in September this year.
Yameen forced to play 80 percent in defence: Umar Naseer
Last week, a spokesperson for Abdulla Yameen’s ‘Yageen’ campaign team told local media on Saturday that Umar Naseer had made slanderous and “blatantly untruthful” statements about Yameen during a recent rally.
Speaking at the aforementioned rally, Naseer claimed that Yameen’s campaign team is forced to play “80 percent in defence” in order to denounce the public’s claims against him.
“We heard our brother MP [Ahmed] Nihan speaking at Yameen’s campaign rally. All he did was try to denounce what the public says about Yameen,” Naseer said at a rally held on March 15.
“Nihan said that although people allege Yameen has ties with gangs and gang violence it is not true. He said that although people say Yameen bathes with mineral water, that isn’t true either.”
Earlier this month, Naseer claimed that he had received “intel” that an attempt would be made to “assassinate” his character by planting illegal substances in his offices.
Following Naseer’s initial claims, he told supporters at a rally on March 15 that an MP involved in the illegal drug business was attempting to “frame him”.
“[The MP] tried to ruin my reputation by sending police to my business offices in the pretence of looking for illegal substances. I do not get involved in such acts.
“I will not name the MP, I do not need to name him here. He is trying to hide the relations he has with gangs and his involvement in the illegal drug business.”
On March 17, a police source told Minivan News that a bottle of alcohol had been found in a car belonging to Naseer’s wife when searched by police.
“Last night the driver of the car had parked after there had been some sort of accident caused by someone on the back seat.
“At that time, the driver found a bottle of alcohol within the car and reported it to the police. We took the driver, questioned him and released him,” the source claimed.
Speaking in regard to the alcohol allegedly found in the car, Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed that a bottle had been found and the case was still under investigation.
“We received a report from a driver of a vehicle stating that there was a bottle of alcohol in the car. Police went to the car, searched it and took the vehicle,” Haneef said.
Despite Umar Naseer’s comments, former President Gayoom tweeted earlier this month that external influences were attempting to split both Yameena and Umar apart.
“Some people from outside PPM are trying hard to drive a wedge between Yameen and Umar. All PPM members please be alert to this,” Gayoom tweeted.
The PPM presidential primary election is scheduled for March 30.