The Maldivian public should be duly informed about President Abdulla Yameen’s health to allay fears and prevent speculation, former President Mohamed Nasheed has said.
Speaking to reporters last night (October 24) upon returning from a visit to Abu Dhabi and Japan, the opposition leader referred to the President’s Office denying rumours last week of President Yameen undergoing brain surgery in Singapore.
“If the president is unwell, I am certain that all of us would be worried. In my view, giving clear information about it to the public is absolutely essential,” Nasheed said.
President Yameen and First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim departed on an unofficial visit to Singapore on October 15.
“Rumours being spread about the president’s health are false,” President’s Office Spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali tweeted on Thursday (October 23).
Since assuming office in November, Yameen has made numerous unofficial trips to Singapore. The President’s Office has not revealed when the president is expected to return.
Nasheed meanwhile questioned Yameen spending weeks overseas, noting that there were rules for government employees to take leave.
In the absence of answers, Nasheed said “doubt and fear” were increasing.
“We keep hearing that another coup d’etat is developing again in the Maldives. While we keep hearing that, we are seeing the president not fulfilling the responsibilities of his office,” Nasheed claimed.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as the main opposition party was very concerned about the president’s absence, Nasheed continued, adding that the president should be working at his office to perform his duties to the public.
The MDP’s role as an opposition party was bringing issues to the public’s attention and holding the government accountable through parliament, Nasheed said.
“We are a party that holds peaceful political activities,” he said.
After serving on the panel of judges of the Zayed Future Energy at Abu Dhabi last week, Nasheed delivered the keynote address at the International Bar Association ‘annual conference showcase session on climate change and human rights’ in Tokyo on Wednesday.