Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists demanded Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz’s resignation last night after he was found holding a covert meeting with Mulaku MP Abdulla Yamin of opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
The Minister, who has not resigned from his post, and MP Yamin had not responded to inquiries at time of press.
Minivan staff who witnessed the event said one activist lay down in front of Yamin’s car while another “dragged” Inaz from the vehicle and took him to MDP headquarters at Haruge.
Activists interviewed today claimed that Inaz was not forcefully taken from the vehicle.
Activists alleged that the two politicians had held a secret meeting, possibly involving a bribe. Inside Haruge, Inaz was pressured to send an SMS message to President Mohamed Nasheed, currently in Sri Lanka, conveying his resignation.
Inaz left Haruge after police arrived to address the agitated crowds.
Police received information of the disturbance after midnight, but finding no signs of violence upon arrival did not take action.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam reported that no case had been filed from either side of the dispute.
“Even today, we have received no complaint from Inaz or from the MDP and have found no reason to investigate the matter,” he said.
MDP senior activist Ibrahim ‘Dhonbeli’ Haleem said he discovered Inaz and Yamin holding a discussion “for two hours” near Male’s South Harbor, “a dark area poorly lit that is only really frequented by boys and girls, not for official business.”
“I told Inaz it was wrong, that Yamin is an enemy and why is he going to this area to hold a business meeting. If he needs to discuss business he should do it in his office.
“Inaz admitted it was wrong, and the MDP activists were yelling and shouting so I took him on my bike to Haruge (MDP headquarters),” said Dhonbeli.
He said Inaz appeared scared, and following his appearance at Haruge Dhonbeli “took him safely home.”
Dhonbeli believed Yamin was attempting to bribe the Finance Minister on behalf of the “money holder” opposition party.
Yamin is the half-brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. He had not responded to phone calls at time of press.
Male’ City Councilor Lufshan Shakeed said he was among those who stood in front of Yamin’s car when he attempted to drive away. He explained that MDP activists were “ok if they meet in a cafe or on the roadside, but we don’t like these hidden discussions.”
Asked whether he expected the Minister would resign following last night’s encounter, Shakeed said “it’s up to him. The MDP activists and grassroots people are not very happy right now.”
PPM officials had not responded to phone calls at time of press.