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Defence minister warns of plot to destabilise Maldives

The government has been accused of seeking a pretext to delay the September 23 presidential election.



The police and military have learned of a plot to incite unrest and destabilise the nation in the coming days, Defence Minister Adam Shareef Umar announced Saturday night.

“The Maldives National Defence Force and Maldives Police Service are together looking into this very closely,” he said in a Facebook post, urging the public report any information about dangers to national security.

Shareef refused to provide any information to the media, saying it could jeopardise the military operation.

The announcement has prompted widespread speculation on social media that the government is seeking a pretext to delay the September 23 presidential election. With the threat of targeted sanctions from the European Union looming, President Abdulla Yameen has yet to file his candidacy papers.

In November 2015, the MNDF’s discovery of a bomb in the capital, which led to the declaration of a state of emergency, was greeted with similar scepticism and disbelief by the public.