Running mate of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s Presidential Candidate Abdulla Yameen, Dr Mohamed Jameel, has declared that opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Presidential Candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed “will not be allowed to assume power”, even should he emerge as the clear winner in the run-off election scheduled to take place on September 28.
The provisional results of last Saturday’s presidential election showed the MDP finishing the race on top with 45.45 percent of the popular vote or 95,224 votes. The PPM came second with 53,099 votes – 42,125 votes less than the MDP – while the Jumhooree Coalition led by resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim came third with 50,422 votes and incumbent President Mohamed Waheed Hassan finishing the race at the bottom with just 10,750 votes – 5.13 percent.
The results mean that the winner of the election are to be decided through a run-off election – contested by both the PPM and the MDP – scheduled to take place on September 28. Both parties have since commenced their campaign.
During the PPM’s first campaign rally since the first round of the election, Jameel asserted on Tuesday night that his party was not prepared to hand over the country to Nasheed, whom he described as an “evil, wicked, radical and especially a mad man”.
“We will not hand over this country to an evil, wicked, mad man. We will not hand over through an election, [we] will not hand over even if he gets elected,” Jameel said.
The sacked Home Minister also vowed to “imprison Nasheed for a lengthy period” should a PPM government come to power.
“I am still saying that [Nasheed] will go to jail, by Allah’s will he will go to jail, we will do it, we will do it with Allah’s beneficence. We are waiting for the moment. At the right moment, we are certain that you [Nasheed] will be in jail,” Jameel told supporters.
He also promised free housing and healthcare for every police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officer under a PPM government.
Clarifying his remarks to Minivan News on Wednesday, Jameel stated that his comments during the rally reflected the “criminal charge filed against Nasheed” and other possible charges.
“As there is an impending [criminal] charge on him, he would be facing the outcome of the trial that would stop him from holding [the office of the president]. That is what I meant [at the rally],” Dr Jameel explained.
“Also, audit report exposes budget misappropriation of MVR 4.7 billion in addition to several corruption allegations which ultimately former President Nasheed will have to face. That is what I meant. So as a result of these charges he would not be able to hold the office,” he added.
The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) blasted Jameel’s remarks stating that he was “unfit to hold public office”.
Speaking to Minivan News, MDP Spokesperson MP Imthiyaz Fahmy claimed that Jameel’s remarks showed how desperate the PPM were, and indicated that it was expecting a “bad election day” on September 28.
“He is openly refusing to obey the constitution and the laws of the country. He has openly announced another coup. This is a very serious remark,” Fahmy told Minivan News.
The MDP spokesperson also accused the PPM of not understanding how to campaign, only how carry out anti-campaigns against Nasheed.
“If this is a free democratic country that upholds the law, I am sure the police would have arrested the man while he was on the podium. I believe the police must investigate the statement and the Prosecutor General should press charges against him,” Fahmy claimed.
The government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Parliamentary Group Leader Dr Abdulla Mausoom also criticised Jameel on local media.
Mausoom claimed that Jameel’s remarks meant that he was preparing to “break the laws for a lengthy period of time”.
Jameel – who played a central role in toppling Nasheed’s government on February 2012 – had previously repeated his claim in the press, both before and after Nasheed’s controversial step down, that he would make sure the former president is “put away for a long time”.
Last March, during the PPM’s presidential primaries, Dr Jameel declared that it was both a “national and a religious Farḍ (obligation)” to prevent Nasheed from contesting the presidential election.
“Nasheed of Kenereege does not have any chance to come to power. We would not give that chance [to him]. That is something we ought to do. It is both a national and a religious Farḍ (obligation),” Jameel said at the time.
During the lead up to the mutiny by the police and the military on February 7, 2012, that forced the change in government, Jameel publicly announced in an anti-government rally that an Islamic jihad (struggle) against Nasheed’s government was an “obligation” to all Maldivian Muslims.
Jameel while he was a member of the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) was one of the co-authors of a “hate-pamphlet” released against Nasheed’s government, in which it claimed that Nasheed was participating in “an anti-Islamic conspiracy”.
“Since 2006 Gaza where many millions live has been blocked from land, air and sea and all its inhabitants enslaved and locked up. Nevertheless after coming to power Nasheed’s main priority was fostering ties with Jews,” read the English translation of the pamphlet.