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Opposition under fire for holding rally after supporter’s death

Ibrahim Nahid was among 40 men who decided to swim three miles to an MDP campaign rally.



The main opposition MDP is under fire for continuing with a campaign rally after a supporter died while on his way to the event.

Ibrahim Nahid was among 40 men from Faafu Bilehdhoo who decided to swim the three miles to Faafu Magoodhoo for the Friday night rally.

He told the group he was feeling unwell soon after they jumped into the water, said MDP member Abdulla Waheed. Nahid, who was in his thirties, climbed aboard one of the accompanying boats and went to Bilehdhoo Health Centre.

“He said he was feeling better when he was taken to the centre. He died after suffering a heart attack while in the centre,” Waheed told the Maldives Independent.

The party was criticised for going ahead with the rally, especially after posting pictures of the swimmers being warmly received by supporters in Magoodhoo with drums and dancing.

“Nahid has died after being put on MDP’s trap. While the family was mourning, they have celebrated and held a rally. Do they think the family will forget because they carried the casket?” tweeted ruling party lawmaker Abdulla Khaleel.

“MDP is moving ahead with their celebrations and rally with no respect to the funeral and the family of the deceased. Cruelty to the maximum,” one PPM supporter tweeted.

“This is what MDP does to poor citizens. Hold the rally even if people die. Cruelty in everything. Leaders hiding in London or Lanka,” tweeted another.

Waheed defended the party, saying senior opposition figures waited in Bilehdhoo until the funeral was over to pay their respects.

“It was reported in many ways in the media, but the truth is when the group arrived in Magoodhoo and the celebration went on, Nihad was in the health centre,” he told the Maldives Independent. “We heard he died afterwards, while we were having a coffee after the welcome.”

Nihad was praised by former president Mohamed Nasheed, who said on Twitter that the fisherman “worked tirelessly in the front lines to bring democracy to the Maldives.”