A group of protesters last night gathered outside the residence of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) leader Dr Hassan Saeed, demonstrating against the party’s support of a Civil Court ruling preventing Addu Atoll being granted status as a city.
Saeed himself is a prominent Adduan, however the case in the Civil Court was filed by the DQP’s Deputy Leader of DQP Imad Solih. The party argued that President Mohamed Nasheed did not have the authority to declare Addu a city council.
With over 30,000 inhabitants, Addu Atoll is the second largest population centre in the country. However, as much as 60 percent of some islands currently reside in the capital Male’.
Most of the protesters claimed to be from Addu, however Minivan News also observed many Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters at the protest, including MPs Alhan Fahmy, Ilyas Labeeb and Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed.
Protesters burned an effigy of DQP Deputy leader Imad Solih, and called for the party to be abolished.
Riot police attended the area and blocked the road, however, confrontations between riot police and protesters occurred when protesters attempted to breakthrough police lines.
Police arrested some of the protesters and protesters shouted at the police accusing them of torturing peaceful protesters.
The local media have reported that similar protests were held at Addu, in Hithadhoo near the island office, led by people who supported the City Council idea of the government.
Hassan Saeed had not responded to Minivan News at time of press.
Attorney General Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad has said he will appeal the ruling.