The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has expressed grave concern over the “deteriorating political situation” in the wake of Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s arrest yesterday.
The MDP said in a statement yesterday that Adeeb’s arrest was “the latest in a series of high-profile actions taken against senior government officials in an environment of increasingly heightened political tension.”
The party also expressed concern over “the recent large deployments of security services” in Malé as well as the abrupt changes in the top leadership of the police and military and “searches of private residences by the armed forces without adequate explanation from the government.”
Following Adeeb’s arrest on suspicion of links with an alleged bomb plot to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen, the police and military launched a joint-security operation in the capital yesterday and raided eight buildings, including the home of the vice president’s wife.
The president had sacked the police chief and transferred two deputy commissioners on the eve of Adeeb’s arrest. The defence minister was also sacked and the head of the president’s security detail is being detained at the military barracks.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, the MDP’s international spokesperson, meanwhile criticised the police for announcing before Adeeb’s arrival that the Republic Square would be cordoned off to ensure the vice president’s safety.
“These contrasting statements and actions serve to effect the institutional integrity of the police service. Leading to further instability is not helpful for Maldives’ already fragile democracy and the economy. We call upon the international community to remain vigilant and urge the government to address public concerns over the ongoing political crisis,” he said.
President Yameen made his first public statement today since the blast on his speedboat on September 28, speaking out on political infighting, betrayal, deception, and corruption within his administration.
Speaking to The Maldives Independent, MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy meanwhile observed that Yameen has impeached one vice president and jailed another halfway into his five-year term.
The president has also sacked two defence ministers, he added, while four other ministers have resigned.
“In spite of who is in power, stability, peace, security and justice are key for the country. Yameen should prioritise these over anything else, yet he cannot guarantee these for the public or for himself either. The best course of action right now would be for Yameen to resign and make way for multi-party elections,” Imthiyaz said.
After a three-month hiatus during which negotiations with the government failed to secure former President Mohamed Nasheed’s release from prison, the MDP resumed its anti-government campaign last month.
The MDP has held street gatherings, nightly rallies at its meeting hall, and weekly protest marches in Malé, calling on the government to abide by a UN rights panel ruling and release the opposition leader.
The party is also gearing up for a nationwide mass demonstration on November 6.