Acting leader of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) former President Mohamed Nasheed has alleged that current President Abdulla Yameen “remains under the power” of his half brother former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Nasheed opined that it will be difficult for Yameen to continue his presidency under such circumstances, adding that to date he has observed that Yameen has been unable to rule autonomously without Gayoom’s interference.
“All we are seeing so far is the differences of thought between Yameen and Gayoom and the rifts that rise between coalition parties. So far, it does not appear as if Yameen has actual control over his presidency,” Nasheed said, speaking on a live talk show on opposition aligned Raajje TV on Wednesday night.
Nasheed also described Yameen’s appointment of Gayoom’s children and other relatives to political positions as nepotism, adding that “it’s lingering effects will prove to be extremely harmful even though it might seem the easier option”.
“They seem to be unsatisfied unless some relative or other is filling each key position in the government,” he continued.
Currently, Gayoom’s daughter Dunya Maumoon serves in Yameen’s cabinet as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Additionally, Yameen’s niece Dr Hala Hameed fills the post of Minister of State for Health and Gender, while Gayoom’s sons Ahmed Faris Maumoon serves as Minister of State for Economic Development and Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon serves as Minister of State for Youth and Sports.
Gayoom’s daughter Yumna Maumoon is currently in the post of Deputy Minister of Education.
Yameen has also drawn criticism for his drawn-out attempts to nominate his nephew Maumoon Hameed to the post of prosecutor general.
Nasheed – the first president to be elected in a multi-party election in the country – further asserted that it would be extremely difficult for a country to adapt to democracy after having had an autocratic regime for decades.
“Moving from autocracy to democracy is not an easy feat. It is not something that can be done in a day, or even in five years. I call upon all Maldivians to persevere in the efforts to establish a complete democracy in the country,” he stated.
“SEZs a path to money laundering”
Speaking on the show, Nasheed also criticised current government’s policies regarding tourism and foreign investment.
Nasheed alleged that, should the current bill on Special Economic Zones be passed by parliament, it would pose numerous threats to the people of Maldives. He stated that it would prove to be a path that facilitates black market activities and money laundering.
Tourism Minister and head of the cabinet’s economic council Ahmed Adeeb told Minivan News last month that critics of the bill had failed to understand that it offered the best way to encourage regional investment and development.
Nasheed yesterday alleged that there are no signs of improving general living conditions for the people as a result of Yameen’s economic policies, and that instead additional benefits are being introduced for businessmen and foreign investors.
Nasheed went on to say that the recently launched guest house island program would not present any benefits to locals, and that it is a threat to the success of guest houses in inhabited islands.
Concluding the show, Nasheed spoke of the current government’s disregard towards improving the general livelihood of Maldivians.
Minivan News was unable to contact President’s Office Spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz for comment at the time of press.