The Maldives government was urged Wednesday to use state funds to provide all presidential and vice presidential candidates with security and protection, following an attempted assault on the opposition’s pick and his campaign team.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was confronted by two young men on motorbikes in Hulhumalé. The attack at Central Park was stopped by his security detail and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists.
His team was later targeted with bags of used diesel. Senior officials from the MDP and the Jumhooree Party were caught in the crossfire. The attack was also directed at reporters covering the event.
The Attorney General’s Office said it had asked state institutions to “provide the candidates and vice president choices with security and protection through the state budget” and “to urgently work on strengthening the protection and security provided to them” in order to ensure a free, fair and peaceful election.
It asked ministries and the Maldives Police Service to give security, protection and state resources as well as contacting Public Service Media for airtime.
All presidential candidates must be given equal opportunities to campaign for the upcoming election, it said.
Lawmaker Ahmed Mahloof identified an employee of Hulhumalé Development Centre as being behind Tuesday’s attack, while the MDP vice president Mohamed Shifaaz said activists from the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) were responsible.
Police spokesman Ahmed Shifan told the Maldives Independent they were investigating the incident.
The Adhaalath Party and the JP, which are part of the opposition alliance, condemned the attacks.
“As [Ibu] is currently a member of parliament, the constitution mandates security should be provided for him. We learnt today that there is no opportunity to continue political activities with freedom,” the JP said.
— Adhaalath Party (@AdhaalathOffice) July 10, 2018
“The MDP calls on the Government of Maldives to stop facilitating violent obstruction of peaceful political activity and to provide an environment conducive for a free and fair election,” the party said.
— Rauna 🎈 (@Rauna17) July 10, 2018
BODU VAGU YAG ge Naibu Raees Bonaqua Shaheem Bunegen Kandi Hifaagen Bayaku Meehun Nikumehjje. pic.twitter.com/ECJR3U2W8M
— #JazeeraRaajje 💛🇲🇻💛 (@IllathHassan) July 10, 2018
As expected, regime shows ugly side in prez campaign. As I’ve reiterated to @EUCouncil & @Europarl_EN, regime habours gangs & extremists as a tool. Condemn attack on @ibusolih & ask intl community to keep close watch on #Maldives as serious threats on candidates’ life persist. pic.twitter.com/dcv0bYO1aC
— Mohamed Jameel Ahmed (@MJameelAhmed) July 10, 2018