Maldivian Democractic Party (MDP) President, and former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed accused the government of being taken hostage by the police and the many gangs operating in the capital Malé.
“At the moment, the government has failed in providing a path to bring perpetrators of serious crimes in front of justice,” Nasheed said while speaking at an MDP rally held in the carnival area of the capital last night (October 26).
Nasheed also alleged that four individuals from the MPS Special Operations (SO) unit were behind the recent chopping down of the areca palm trees planted on both sides of the city’s main thoroughfare Majeedhee Magu.
“Two nights ago, we saw Maafannu police chase and attack four SO police officers who were wielding machetes around the city. Maafannu police tried to arrest the culprits but the SO officers ran into Iskandhar Koshi where they were protected by SO commander sub-inspector Abdulla Ibrahim,” claimed Nasheed.
Nasheed also criticised the government for its decision to ‘freeze employment’ in an attempt to reduce the ballooning budget deficit.
More than 5000 students are to finish their O levels, said the former president, with a further 2000 completing A levels – suggesting that these groups would be lost to gangs without gainful employment.
“The budget deficit has risen higher than ever before. The government is in huge amounts of debt after selling treasury bills to make ends meet,” continued the MDP leader, referring to the budget deficit which is now believed to exceed MVR4 billion (US$260 million).
He also spoke again of President Abdulla Yameen’s numerous visits to Singapore saying that the President Yameen is carrying out his presidential duties and obligations at a time where the whole country is descending into fear and chaos.
“If President Yameen is ill, we would not criticise these visits. However, the President’s Office has informed the media that the President and the First Lady is in good health, making us question the motive behind trips to Singapore,” said Nasheed.
President Yameen and the first lady have since returned from their unofficial trip.
Nasheed pointed out that the government has taken little to no action when an MDP rally held at Addu City was attacked by masked men wielding batons or when an MDP office in Malé was set on fire by two individuals on motorbikes.
Last night’s rally was held amidst a large number of threats issued against the opposition party. During the party’s last rally in the Malé, MP Eva Abdulla received a message threatening a suicide attack at the next MDP gathering while vowing to ‘fight to the last drop of blood’.
Despite party members continuing to receive threats prior to yesterday’s rally, the event passed without incident. Earlier today (October 26), the MDP held a press conference announcing that over 12,000 new members has signed to the party.