The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) national council has adopted a resolution today to work together with the Adhaalath Party (AP) after Sheikh Imran Abdulla called for the formation of a “national unity alliance” against the government.
The national council unanimously approved a resolution proposed by MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to accept the AP’s invitation and discuss commencing joint efforts to achieve common goals.
The resolution said the MDP believed President Abdulla Yameen’s administration had brought the Maldives to “a critical juncture” by violating the constitution and laws, and welcomed the AP’s decision “to do everything it could within legal bounds to change the current situation.”
The AP’s consultative council decided last night to work against the government to bring an end to “the brutality of President Yameen’s regime.”
At a press conference earlier today, AP President Sheikh Imran called on NGOs and political parties to unite to protest against the government.
The party’s council decided to bring an “end to all this brutality within the boundaries of Islamic Sharia, the constitution and laws of the Maldives,” a statement by AP read.
It accused the government of “leading the way for gangsters and people who commit serious crimes.”
The party also accused the government of corruption, misusing the police and military, undoing separation of powers, undermining independent institutions, and encouraging drug use.
Moreover, the AP said the government was exerting undue influence over the judiciary and questioned the fairness of court verdicts.
The religious conservative party officially withdrew its support for the government last week. The move followed stringent criticism from Imran on social media in the wake of the arrest and prosecution of former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim on possession of illegal weapons.
Imran has maintained that the retired colonel was framed by the government after police found a pistol and three bullets in his apartment during a midnight raid. He has also contended that the trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges was not conducted fairly.
The opposition leader was found guilty of terrorism on Friday night (March 13) and sentenced to 13 years in prison over the military’s detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012.
Meanwhile, Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, an AP council member, criticised the party on Twitter following the decision to work against the government.
“Justice should be for everyone. Even people who call for justice should not utter a word except for justice,” Shaheem tweeted.
Another tweet by Shaheem read: “Government institutions need the help of Islamic scholars. The government will accept constructive advice.”
Last month, the MDP formed an alliance with the Jumhooree Party (JP) and launched nightly protests against the government’s alleged breaches of the constitution.
Addressing supporters earlier this month, President Yameen said former allies the JP and AP working with the MDP was “a riddle” as both parties had participated in anti-government demonstrations against former President Nasheed’s administration.
The AP had backed a mass demonstration in December 2011 accusing Nasheed of pursuing anti-Islamic policies and undermining sovereignty. The party later took part in the 22 days of serial protests that led to a police and military mutiny on February 7, 2012, forcing Nasheed to resign.
In an appearance on JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa TV earlier this month, Sheikh Imran said the time had come for the religious party to stand up for the Maldives.
“I believe now is the time for the people who value our nation’s freedom and peace to stand up for the country. Maldives is not on the right track. There is fear amongst the people. We should stand up for them,” he said.
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