The Maldives National Defence Force has said that increased security around the residence of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is in compliance with procedure, reports Avas.
Security measures were stepped up around the Gayoom residence, with the military recording the names of everyone coming in and out of the house, on Tuesday after the MNDF allegedly received a report of a death threat.
“Security measures are ongoing in compliance with the procedure and the MNDF would brief the media if necessary,” MNDF information officer Captain Ibrahim Azim said.
The MNDF comments came after the former president wrote to the security services “asking for clarification” regarding the threat.
Gayoom is currently working with the opposition coalition to field a single candidate for presidential elections this year.
The move to boost security was criticised on social media by opposition activists, who believe it was orchestrated to keep tabs on visitors.
“This is house-arrest without sentencing. The aim of it is to be a hindrance to the fast-tracked progress made by the opposition for the presidential elections and to stop the work being done by President Maumoon,” said opposition spokesman Ahmed Mahloof.
But Ahmed Nihan, the parliamentary group leader of the ruling party, said there was no political motive behind the increased security.
He told Avas that the MNDF is obliged by law to provide security to former presidents and they can also step up security based on the circumstances and intelligence reports.
“For example, the MNDF must increase security from two to four officers if necessary. There might come situations where former presidents need high-level security with armed security officers, based on the threat level,” Nihan was quoted as saying.
Last March, Gayoom’s military bodyguards were prevented from accompanying him on a private visit to India shortly after he declared support for a motion of no-confidence submitted by opposition politicians to remove speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed.