Adhaalath Party calls on party members to conduct peaceful protest

Adhaalath Party has called on all its members and others joining the protest tomorrow to protest peacefully, uphold all laws and respect foreign missions.

In a statement issued by former State Minister and current Spokesperson of Adhaalath Party Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed called on protesters to cooperate with the armed forces and to put patience forward if someone initiates a confrontation.

‘’I advise all protesters that participate in this protest in all the islands to use decent language to express your opinions and to uphold Islamic policies,’’ Shaheem said in the statement. ‘’And, I also advise to not to refer any political party with fault language and to set an example for others.’’

Sheikh Shaheem also said there have been many challenges in recent days, and advised protesters to aim for unity and remain within Maldivian law.

“Adhaalath Party is a party that loves peace, respects the state institutions and respects diplomatic relations and international conventions,’’ the statement read.

Meanwhile, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa expressed concern that if MDP protested on the same day as the opposition parties-NGO Coalition protest, there was a risk that both protests would turn violent.

‘’I advised the President today to delay our protest supporting ‘moderation’ but it was a decision made by the party,’’ he said. ‘’We tried to stop the MDP protest by submitting a petition but we did not have the majority support so we cannot challenge the majority.’’

Musthafa said that he was not happy with the decision but was obliged to follow decisions made by the party majority.

Recently there have been unconfirmed reports of mercenaries from terrorist groups being recruited for the protest.

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Spokesperson Major Abdul Raheem said that there have been no confirmed reports of said recruits and referred Minivan News to the police.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said ‘’it is very difficult to say anything about it.’’

Today the Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh and Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Jaleel was summoned to the parliament’s National Security Committee meeting along with MDP Planning Committee officials, NGO Coalition President Abdulla Mohamed and Adhaalath Party president Imran Abdulla.

All the parties assured the parliament that they will not confront each other and that the protests will go peacefully.

NGO Coalition President Abdulla Mohamed was today questioned at the committee whether pregnant women and children will participate in the protest, to which he replied that he cannot stop pregnant women and children from coming to the protest.

Local newspaper SunFM reports that during today’s committee meeting MDP MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik questioned Adhaalath President Abdulla whether Al-Qaeda mercenaries were recruited to the protest. Abdulla replied that he did not want to answer that question.


Senior MDP figures call on party to reconsider protesting on Friday

Senior figures of the uling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) together with a number of supporters have started signing a petition calling on MDP’s National Council to reconsider an earlier decision to protest on Friday.

Secretary General of MDP Ahmed Shah today confirmed to Minivan News that some “hardcore figures” in the party has started signing the petition.

‘’I do not know who is in charge of this petition or who is taking the lead, but I have had reports that it is going on,’’ said Shah.

Asked about his opinion on the decision to hold a protest in support of moderate Islam at the same time as the opposition and religious NGO-organised ‘Defend Islam’ protest, he said that he and all MDP members were obliged to follow any decision made by the National Council.

He said the petition was expected to reach the National Council sometime this afternoon.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair today told Minivan News that a media report about a meeting supposedly held by the President this afternoon to meet with MDP National Council members was correct.

‘’The President has assured that he will go out with the MDP supporters to express support for moderate Islam and oppose extremism,’’ Zuhair said.

On Friday opposition political parties and a coalition of local NGOs have planned to conduct a protest to ‘’protect Islam.’’

Following the announcement of this protest, MDP’s National Council had a meeting and decided to hold a ‘moderate Islam’ protest at the same time as the opposition-NGO coalition protest.