The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has called upon members and religious scholars of the Adhaalath Party (AP) to take action against the party’s president, Sheikh Imran Abdulla.
In a press statement yesterday, the PPM condemned Imran’s alleged efforts to “defame the government” and contended that he was acting “dictatorially” without consulting either the party’s members or its council of religious scholars.
“The party’s members and scholars are revealing that [Imran’s] efforts are being carried out dictatorially after gathering all of the party’s powers in his fist,” the press release stated.
Imran advocating on behalf of a person who has “openly ridiculed” Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and insulted Islam was “unacceptable,” the statement added, referring to former President Mohamed Nasheed’s alleged anti-Islamic remarks.
While the AP was founded for the purpose of protecting Islamic values, the PPM argued that Imran’s actions were contrary to the party’s founding principles.
After officially withdrawing support for President Abdulla Yameen’s administration, the AP formed an alliance dubbed “Maldivians against brutality” with the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on March 17. The alliance was formed in the wake of the sentencing of former President Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism and the arrest and prosecution of former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim on illegal weapons smuggling.
At the time, Imran said 80 percent of the party’s council members voted in favour of the decision to withdraw support for the government. The AP leader has since been leading nightly protests against the government.
On March 16, the Adhaalath Party’s council in a statement said it had decided to bring an “end to all this brutality within the boundaries of Islamic Sharia, the constitution and laws of the Maldives.”
The party accused the government of corruption, misusing the police and military, undoing separation of powers, undermining independent institutions, encouraging drug use, undue influence over the judiciary and illicit connections with gangs.
The PPM meanwhile reiterated its argument that the opposition alliance has not been able to substantiate claims of unlawful acts or anti-Islamic behaviour on the part of the government.
Such “uncivilised” and “slanderous” allegations were intended to undermine public interest and threaten order and security, the ruling party insisted.
The PPM called on AP members and religious scholars to stand up against Imran’s “irresponsible” actions and allegations.
“While a person in the post of the party’s president is working to muddy the party’s name without showing any legal evidence, [the PPM] believes that the party’s common members and scholars have a responsibility to take action against him,” the statement read.
Asked about the PPM statement at an opposition alliance press conference this afternoon, Imran declined to comment and said the AP would issue a response.
However, in a tweet last night, Imran suggested that the PPM statement was an “omen” indicating the success of the opposition protests.
In his speech at the protest last night, Imran also said President Abdulla Yameen’s statement denying the opposition’s allegations of police “framing” former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and rampant corruption in the government indicated progress was being achieved through the anti-government demonstrations.
President Yameen had not issued a statement despite a month of opposition protests, he said, “but today the president has started talking.”
“Tomorrow he will come out with you to these streets to sign a peace agreement,” he said.