President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s coalition for the September 7 presidential elections has announced it will be holding multiple events targeting youth this Saturday night, to launch the first of its pledges and policies.
According to a press conference held today, part of the coalition’s youth policy will be revealed during tonight’s event.
Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaadh (GIP) has formed a coalition with Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and the religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) to contest the elections, campaigning under the slogan “Forward with the nation”.
Speaking at a press conference held on Saturday, DRP Youth Branch President Mohamed Jaushan Shareef stated that the coalition’s policy launch will begin with a meeting in the STELCO building on Saturday night.
He stated that President Waheed and his running mate, DRP Leader Thasmeen Ali, will head a rally down Ameenee Magu after the conclusion of the meeting.
“This rally is not exclusively for youth. We invite everyone, the young and the old, to join this rally. We are coming out with youth in order to go forward with the nation. We believe that this can be achieved by the support of the general public, in addition to the youth,” Shareef said.
GIP member, State Minister of Tourism Ahmed Shameem, added that other activities planned for tonight by the coalition include a music show at the Alimas Carnival, and a barbeque organised by youth members of the coalition.
According to Shameem, various musicians, including local ‘boduberu’ groups will perform at tonight’s coalition event.
He further stated that Waheed and Thasmeen will be participating in all of tonight’s campaign events.
Meanwhile, religious conservative Adhaalath Party representative Hussain Wafeer said the party’s involvement is only with the policy launch, distancing itself from the other events.
The Adhaalath Party has previously spoken against mixed-gender gatherings, music and dancing.
“The youth policy launch will be carried out at STELCO. All these other events, like music show and barbecue, are another matter completely,” Wafeer said.
When asked about the party’s official stand on the music show events being carried out under the name of a coalition they are a part of, Wafeer said that he will confirm with party leaders as to their stand on the matter.
Minivan News was later unable to contact him.
Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla, Deputy President Dr Mauroof Hussain and Islamic Minister Sheikh Shaheem Ali Saeed were not responding to calls at the time of press.
In April 2012, the Adhaalath Party called on the Education Ministry to cancel the inter-school singing competition, claiming that music and singing is ‘haram’ [prohibited in Islam].
In September 2012, the Islamic Minister, the party’s senior member Sheikh Shaheem Ali Saeed, sent a circular to all government institutions banning the holding of any mixed gender dance events.
Shaheem said at the time that the directive was targeted for both the government and individual citizens.
The Ministry said then that the acceptable form of music, which falls within the boundaries of Islamic customs and disciplinary norms is limited to the folk dance ‘Thaara’.
‘Thaara’, dhivehi for ‘tambourine’ is a folk dance where performers sit in parallel rows, singing and dancing. This is performed specifically by men. The traditional songs sung during ‘Thaara’ are mostly in Arabic and the activity itself is said to have entered Maldivian culture through Arab influence.
GIP Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza was not responding to calls at the time of press.