Colombo, April 8 (newsin.asia): The three-party Maldives Combined Front (MCF) led by the Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, has appealed to the opposition led by two former Presidents to enter into a “re-engagement” with it on “democratic” lines in a “sincere and honest” manner for the sake of the Maldivian people.
The MCF comprises the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM); the Maldivian Development Alliance (MDA) and the Dhihevi Rayyathunge Party (DRP). The anti-Yameen opposition is led by ex-President Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP); ex-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, a PPM rebel; and Sheikh Imran Abdulla of the Adhaalath Party.
Reacting to the opposition’s criticism of the arrest of Member of Parliament Qasim Ibrahim on Thursday, the MCF said that the arrest was made on legitimate grounds and followed the set legal procedure. Qasim was not arrested for signing the March 24 statement calling for the removal of the government, but for unduly influencing MPs to vote in favor of the Non-Confidence Motion against the parliament Speaker.
Qasim had tried to bribe the MPs and influence the Security Forces, the MCF charged.
MCF said that the opposition is misusing the goodwill it has gained in the international community and the press to cast a slur on the legitimate government of the Maldives and remove it without regard to the consequences for the country and the people.
Denying charges of authoritarianism and misrule, MCF said that the courts are not padlocked and there are no warrantless arrests. It accused ex-President Nasheed of “abandoning” the Presidency in 2012 after the public protested against warrantless arrests and the arrest of a judge. Nasheed is now evading arrest on false pretexts, the MCF added.
As regards ex-President Gayoom, the MCF said that as a PPM leader, he had been authoritarian and had broken party laws, charges upheld by the High Court and Supreme Court. In the case of the Sheikh Imran Abdulla, leader of the ultra-conservative Adhaalath party, the ruling coalition said that he is in jail on terrorism charges for his activities on May Day in 2016.
However, the MCF said that it is ready to talk to the opposition for an amicable settlement if only the opposition would adopt democratic methods and show sincerity and honesty in its approach.
(The featured picture at the top is that of Maldives Combined Front leader and President of the Maldives President Abdulla Yameen)