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President ‘cannot win election’ with Gayoom behind bars

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was arrested in February during a state of emergency in connection with an alleged coup plot.

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The opposition alliance warned President Abdulla Yameen he cannot win the election with his half-brother behind bars.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was arrested in February during a state of emergency in connection with an alleged coup plot against Yameen’s government. He has denied the charge.

The 80-year-old former strongman is being charged with terrorism “for helping Yameen succeed in 2013 presidential elections,” the opposition claimed in a statement marking 120 days of Gayoom’s detention on Tuesday.

“Prosecutor General is charging President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom with attempting to overthrow the Maldivian government created in 2013. When looking at the work President Gayoom did in 2013, we see that he campaigned in different islands for incumbent President Yameen to be elected. We heard him calling to vote for Abdulla Yameen at various different podiums.

“It means the Prosecutor General’s office is charging President Gayoom with terrorism for helping Yameen succeed in 2013 presidential elections. This is indeed the biggest act of terrorism.”

The charges against Gayoom were “made-up stories” to “destroy the love and respect in people’s hearts” for him, the statement said.

“His only crime is that he continues to work to build the Maldivian nation, and his participation in efforts to guarantee the rights granted in the constitution to Maldivian citizens.”

Opposition leaders also called for his release.

“President Gayoom is amongst the hundreds of people without justice due to President Yameen’s brutality. Today is four months since his imprisonment. I pray to Allah that we will be saved from this brutality,” tweeted exiled Jumhooree party leader Gasim Ibrahim.

 

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