Opposition rally first step towards changing administration: Thasmeen

The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Peoples Alliance party (PA), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and Jumhoory Party (JP) last night held a joint rally to deliver what they promised yesterday would be “a shocking message” to the government.

DRP leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali told the assembled crowd that this was the first step of the opposition to change the administration.

“The government has recently on different occasions attempted to smear [the name of] independent institutions and commissions of the state,” said Thasmeen. “The government fist attempted to influence and smear the Civil Service Commission (CSC) first, then the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), now parliament and the judiciary as well.”

Thasmeen accused the government of attempting to retain power by “misusing” the armed forces.

“The government has attempted to threaten and hold the media captive,” he alleged, “and has been trying to influence the state media.”

PA leader Abdulla Yameen, who along with JP leader Gasim Ibrahim was recently released from house arrest by the Supreme Court following allegations of corruption and treason against the two high-profile businessmen, said the government had “sold everything the country owns except the national flag located in Jumhoory Maidhaan.”

“Recently we have witnessed the government trying to assassinate opposition leaders and hold the constitution in contempt,” Yameen alleged. “The president has threatened the opposition leaders and people of the country.”

Yamin said the Supreme Court’s ruling “proves the independence and fairness of the judiciary.”

Gasim meanwhile apologized to the people for his work bringing the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to administration.

“Without the sacrifices made by the JP and DQP, this government would not have been able to win the last presidential election. Every Maldivian will understand that,” said Gasim. “I thought President Nasheed would be a sincere man, but it turned out that it was all sour poison.”

Gasim also said that he did not wish to run for the presidency anymore.

“But when the government is trying to sell the assets of the nation, I cannot wait patiently,” he said.

DQP leader Dr Hassan Saeed, who represented Gasim in court, was not present at the rally but Deputy leader of DQP Dr Ahmed Jameel spoke on behalf of the party.

The crowd dispersed peacefully following the rally, making the event rather more more muted than the ‘Red Notice’ protests DRP recently led against rising electricity prices. Police presence was light and the absence of MNDF personnel suggested the government had revised its predictions of clashes following the conclusion of the World Cup.