Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) will launch a protest against the government’s alleged sale of state assets and property tomorrow night at 9pm at the artificial beach.
According to DRP Deputy Leader Umar Naseer, the purpose of the protest, dubbed “For Sale”, was to “raise our voices against the government’s policy of leasing state assets.”
“This government has sold important state assets such as the international airport, schools and other state assets,’’ he claimed, adding that he did not believe the government would listen before police were forced to use tear gas against protestors.
‘’But we are not going to take it that far on the first night,’’ he added.
Umar, along with MPs Ilham Ahmed, Ali Arif and Ahmed Mahlouf submitted a resolution to the DRP council to terminate discussions with the government “until the president gets inside the chart.”
The resolution states that the government routinely disregards both the constitution and legislation passed by parliament.
It also claims that the government secretly and publicly attempted to bribe DRP MPs.
If the DRP council adopts the resolution, the main opposition party will not engage in any discussions with the government until it adheres to the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation Act and amendments brought to the Public Finance Act.
Last month, parliament overruled a presidential veto and passed the amendments requiring the government to seek parliamentary approval for any sale or lease of state assets.
Spokesperson for the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group, MP Mohamed Shifaz, argued meanwhile that privatisation and public-private partnerships were the stated policy of the government.
‘’MDP does not have to follow the policy of DRP, they are just afraid that the people may witness the benefits of the privatisation policy’s success,’’ said Shifaz. ‘’DRP is troubling the government instead of making it accountable.’’
Shifaz explained that people protested when the government announced plans to privatise Giyasuddeen School last year.
“But today people complain that there are no seats in Giyasuddeen School because so many people enrolled their kids there after it was privatised,’’ Shifaz said. ‘’Because it was us doing it, DRP was against, if it was done by someone among them, they would have cooperated and supported it.’’