President Abdulla Yameen has temporarily assigned Environment Minister Thoriq Ibrahim as acting tourism minister, stripping Vice President Ahmed Adeeb of authority over his previous portfolio.
Adeeb was the tourism minister when he was sworn in as vice president on July 22. He continued to be in charge of the ministry as vice president.
Ibrahim Muaz Ali, president’s office spokesperson, was not responding to calls at the time of publication.
The move comes amidst heightened tension and uncertainty in the wake of an explosion on the president’s speedboat on September 28. President Abdulla Yameen escaped unhurt, but First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim remains in the hospital after sustaining injuries to her spine.
The government says the blast was an attempt to assassinate the president.
Suspicion has been cast on the vice president following police raids on the homes of his close associates and the administrative detention of his former military bodyguard.
Last week, the police raided the home of an influential businessman related to Adeeb. The court warrant authorising the raid on the home of Hamid Ismail was issued in connection to the blast on the “Finifenma” speedboat.
It authorised the seizure of CCTV camera footage and stated that police intelligence have learned of efforts to erase the footage and “destroy other evidence”.
The police also raided the apartment of Abdulla Ziyath, the managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporations (MMPRC) last week and searched the MMPRC office on Friday night.
Ziyath was summoned for questioning at the police headquarters yesterday.
Adeeb has meanwhile vowed to return to the Maldives after an ongoing official visit to China, saying the “truth will be known” once a special inquiry commission completes its investigation
Several senior government officials seen as loyal to the vice president have also been dismissed.