MDP, JP candidates contesting together in Gemanafushi

Government-aligned Jumhooree Party (JP) and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidates are campaigning together on the island of Gemanafushi in Gaaf Alif atoll for its five-member local council.

Three MDP candidates and two JP candidates have been campaigning on a joint platform ahead of next Saturday’s election.

JP Deputy Leader and Gemanafushi MP Ilham Ahmed claimed at a campaign rally last week that coalition partner Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) decided to field five candidates from the party despite an agreement within the ruling coalition for three PPM candidates and two JP candidates to contest.

He added that the JP was unable to resolve the issue through discussions with the PPM.

PPM MP Moosa Zameer meanwhile told local media yesterday (January 13) that the coalition partners were working on finding a solution to the impasse, which he stressed was a dispute between the candidates from Gemanafushi rather than the parties.


Four minors arrested with stolen items in Gemanafushi Island

Four minors have been arrested on the island of Gemanafushi in Gaafu Alifu Atoll with stolen items.

Police said that the stolen items were found inside one of the minor’s house.

According to police, they allegedly stole a sound system, CD player, one diving torch, as well as the batteries, charger and bulbs for the torch.

Police said the four minors were aged  between 15 and 16.

Gemanafushi police station is investigating the case.


Harbour construction project begins in Gemanafushi

The Maldives Transport and Construction Company (MTCC) has begun a 10-month harbour construction project on the island of Gemanafushi in Gaafu Alif Atoll.

The project aims to reconstruct a 304 metre long and 91 metre wide harbour in place of the old habour, which is in ruin and insufficient for use, local media reported.

President of Gemanafushi Council Asim Mohamed told local media that work on the project begun on January 24, adding that MTCC were given 10 months to complete the project.

Asim thanked president Waheed for starting the project soon after making a promise to do so on a recent visit to the island.

“When President Waheed visited this island a while ago, he promised that a new harbour would be constructed here. Within a short period of time, work on what will be one the best harbours in the Maldives has begun here.

“I thank President Waheed in my own name, as well as on behalf of the people of this island”, Asim was quoted as saying in Sun Online.


MDP campaign continues despite court summons, sea blockade

The Maldivian Democratic Party’s southern campaigning continues whilst legal sparring continues in the capital Male’.

A request for the delay of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s criminal court trial has been rejected as the MDP reaches the tour’s 10th island.

Spokesperson for the Department of Judicial Administration Latheefa Qasim confirmed that the Hulhumale’ court had received the request on Friday night, which had given the southern campaign as a reason for the postponement.

“This reason is not included in the regulations so the court cannot act upon it,” said Latheefa, who explained that the trial would go ahead as scheduled – tomorrow at 4:00PM.

After Nasheed’s decision not to attend his first hearing on Monday, instead leaving Male’ in contravention of a travel ban, the police were requested to present the MDP’s presidential candidate in the court for the re-scheduled hearing.

Nasheed stands accused of illegally detaining Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January of this year.

Despite rumours that security forces had been dispatched to return Nasheed to Male’, the flotilla of ships on the MDP’s ‘Journey of Pledges’ have as yet  seen no sign of any police of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) vessels.

Police have today said that it under the current court order, Nasheed could only be brought before the Hulhumale’ court with his consent.

MDP spokesman Hamed Abdul Ghafoor did mention that the MDP had encountered some opposition from locals on Gemanafushi in Gaafu Alif atoll.

A large tree was floated across the entrance to the harbour in order to prevent the flotilla from gaining access to the island, although Ghafoor said that the log was soon moved and a warm welcome was given by many of the islanders.

“We expected trouble,” said Ghafoor. “It was a weak attempt to make news. Eventually, the protesters could not overpower our numbers.”

The MDP also reported that a boat named ‘Orchid 101’ attempted to block the harbour entrance.

Local media reported that the protest was organised by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), speaking with the Island Council’s President Asim Mohamed.

“The people protested against Nasheed about three issues. One is that he has ignored the fact that the nation is mourning and is continuing with his tour, the second issue is that he disobeyed Court Orders, and the third is the unrest created in the island during his previous visits,” Asim told Sun Online.

Ghafoor also noted that the party had prepared an appeal to the high court regarding Nasheed’s criminal court trial.

“The National Executive Committee (NEC) said we do not accept lower courts. The president will appeal to the high court,” said Ghafoor.

“Democracy has gone wrong – summons to court represents corruption in the courts,” he added, stating that the lower courts were not recognised due to their failure to have adhered to article 285 of the 2008 constitution.

This article required that all judges not having met a level of qualifications outlined in article 149 within two years of the constitution’s ratification, be removed from the bench.

Latheefa said she was not yet aware of any high court appeal regarding the Abdulla Mohamed case.

After the party’s legal team revealed its concerns over the legality of the Hulhumale’ Magistrates Court – assembled to handle the case – its executive council released a statement announcing it would no longer recognise the authority of the judiciary.

Reform of the judiciary is one of the key recommendations made in the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) which, in August ruled that Nasheed had not been removed in a coup.


Police officer and family attacked in Gemanafushi

A group of two men have attacked a police officer and his two brothers on the island of Gemanafushi in Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

According to police, last night at about 7:00pm two men attacked the police officer after he tried to stop the motorbike they were riding, allegedly because he was riding too fast and the islanders had complained about it.

Police said the two men assaulted the police officer and fled, and an hour later stabbed the officer’s younger brother in the head and another of his brothers in the stomach.

The victim stabbed in the head was 19 years-old and the other was 24 years-old, according to police.

Police said three persons have been arrested in connection with the case.

Gemanafushi Island Council President Asim Mohamed told Minivan News that the police officer tried to stop two persons that were speeding on a motorbike.

‘’They attacked the police officer when he stopped them and islanders gathered to the area and controlled the fight,’’ Asim said. ‘’Later the police officer’s brothers went to confront the persons that attacked the police officer, that’s when they were injured.’’

He said he did not know whether the attack on police officer was politically motivated.

‘’But they both are Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters,’’ he claimed.

Asim said the victim stabbed in the stomach was in a serious condition and that his appendix had to be removed.

There has been a growing animosity between security forces and MDP supporters, following the role of the police in the ousting of former President Mohamed Nasheed on February 7. Tensions escalated last week after a raid on the MDP protest camp near the tsunami monument memorial, in which several MDP supporters were injured. One supporter was taken to hospital after he was discovered injured amid the rocks that make up Male’s eastern sea wall.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam claimed the attack on Gemanafushi occurred due to “continued support and encouragement from political figures to attack police.”

Police are investigating the incident.