Political parties both supporting the current government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of ousted President Mohamed Nasheed are planning rallies on Friday.
MDP will hold “Women’s rally for justice” tomorrow evening, calling for early elections. In a statement on the party’s official website, president of the party’s women’s wing, Shiyama Ahmed said “Our rally is to be held in all major streets of the capital Male’ to express our concerns. We shall call for the immediate stepping down of this ‘coup’ government and demand a date for early elections.”
According to Shiyama, the rally will commence near the Social Centre in Maafannu ward at 3.45pm, and conclude near the tsunami monument on the other side of Male’.
The MDP has also planned a ‘sleepover’ event tonight near the tsunami monument, part of their ongoing protest against the government. Nasheed’s party alleges that Dr Waheed’s government illegally came into power through a police mutiny, and are calling for early presidential elections.
The coalition of parties supporting President Waheed’s government have also meanwhile planned a rally on Friday evening at the artificial beach, just a short distance from the MDP’s protest, in which they will call on the government to take legal action against those who were involved in the arson attacks on local police stations and government offices on February 8, after a police crackdown on MDP supporters.
Spokesperson of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), MP Ahmed Mahlooof, said during a press conference yesterday said that the rally held by the coalition would take place at the artificial beach tomorrow evening at 4:00pm.
Mahloof stated that the different parties in the coalition were jointly working on to bring as many people from the islands to the capital Male’ for the rally, and said that many were willing to come and take part in the event.
Mahloof further stated that they had asked the Male’ City Council for the permission to hold the rally near the tsunami monument, but had instead been given the artificial beach area. Mahloof alleged that the MDP had taken hold of the Male’ city council.
“I have a feeling the two crowds will meet at some point tomorrow,” an MDP-linked source told Minivan News. “This is going to be a numbers game. We are demanding an election date.”
Former President Mohamed Nasheed has meanwhile travelled south to meet supporters in Addu, and is expected to return before the weekend’s protests.