Malé city councillor dismissed from PPM council over photo with ex-defence minister

The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has dismissed Malé city councillor Zaidhul Ameen from the ruling  party’s council, reportedly over a photo with convicted former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

A photograph of Zaidhul Ameen with Nazim and his family in Singapore circulated on social media today. PPM’s deputy secretary general Abdul Aleem is also in the photo.

Nazim was convicted of weapons smuggling charges in March sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The photo was taken while Nazim was in Singapore for medical treatment. The retired colonel returned this week after more than a month in Singapore.

PPM spokesperson MP Ali Arif said Ameen was removed from the party’s council because of a disciplinary issue.

“As far as I know he had two cases against him in the disciplinary committee. The committee investigated the case and decided to expel him,” he said.

Ameen declined to comment on the issue, but said he will release a statement later.

Media reports suggested that he was expelled for “taking a photograph with a man who tried to assassinate the president”.

The police claimed that documents found in a pen drive in Nazim’s apartment contained plans to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen, tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb, and police chief Hussain Waheed. Nazim has maintained that the weapon and pen drive were planted by police on Adeeb’s orders.

PPM’s deputy secretary general Aleem is also reportedly under investigation by the disciplinary committee, which has yet to determine a penalty.

In March, a solder was demoted after he wrote, “We are with you, Nazim sir,” on his Facebook page.


PPM’s Hithadhoo campaign hall subject to arson attack

The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) campaign hall in Hithadhoo in Addu City has been seriously damaged following a fire early this morning.

“So far, we believe that this was an arson attack. We have found evidence to support this theory. The campaign hall caught fire so easily because there were kerosene and other flammable material inside,” Inspector of Police Ahmed Shifan told local media.

Nobody was reported to have been hurt in the incident, although a large amount of electronic equipment was said to have been damaged beyond repair.

Police – who dealt with the fire – are now investigating the incident but are not reported to have yet made any arrests.


PPM pledges harsher punishments for assaulting police, ‘obstructing police duty’

Punishments for obstructing police duty and assaulting police officers will be made harsher under a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) administration, according to PPM vice presidential candidate and former Home Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, reports local media.

Jameel noted that punishments for those who call for attacking police will be made harsher by amending the Penal Code as part of PPM’s policy for maintaining peace and security.

He pledged that a PPM government would try and ‘wrap up’ all criminal investigations and send them for prosecution within a month, as well as make “major changes” to investigative mechanisms.

“At the end of the party’s first five-year period, mechanisms will be set up to facilitate for prosecution to proceed within 24 hours,” said Jameel.

Surveillance mechanisms will be installed “across the whole Maldives” as well as “state-of-the-art forensic facilities”, he added.