The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has hit out at violence confrontations it has said are linked to supporters of its founder and supreme leader, Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, calling for party followers to protest peacefully in line with “democratic values” after troubles outside its headquarters.
A representative for the party confirmed that a press release was issued by the party concerning confrontations outside party headquarters on Tuesday February 8, which led police to escort DRP spokesperson and Deputy Leader ‘Mavota’ Ibrahim Shareef to safety after he came under attack. The representative was unable to comment on the press release’s content any further.
Various DRP members along with dismissed Deputy Leader Umar Naseer were also unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
The fracas itself took place after suspected party supporters loyal to Gayoom gathered to call for the resignation of Shareef and party leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali after an audio clip allegedly linked to the party spokesperson, which appeared to suggest the party “beat” the former president and his supporters away from Aduu Atoll during elections campaigning, was leaked to the press.
Coverage of the audio clip led some party supporters to gather outside the DRP headquarters in protest, leading to police escorting Shareef to safety after he came under attack. Shareef later claimed that while the voice in the leaked audio clip was his, they had been edited from their original meaning.
The press release has not been seen by Minivan News. However, according to newspaper Miadhu, the release condemned violence “instigated” by alleged supporters and security personnel of Gayoom, calling on genuine party followers to avoid trying to stir up violent confrontations and respect the rules and regulations of the party.
The calls come after an official party meeting held back in December resulted in violence that led to police intervention after former Deputy Leader Umar Naseer attempted to enter the meeting after being dismissed by the party. The disturbance was linked to a growing war of words between Thasmeen and Naseer, with the latter still choosing to campaign with the party during local council elections alongside Gayoom.