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Maldivian Democratic Party

Maldives To Blast Coral Reef Even As It Attends COP22 To ‘Save The Climate’

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At a time when 197 representatives  — including the Maldives– have gathered at 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Morocco to discuss climate change, government’s decision to blast coral reef of Addu City using dynamite has received flak from the opposition and people of the country triggering online campaign against it.

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The Environment Protect Agency on Wednesday asked the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to approve the use of dynamite to blast the reef project to dredge the channel between the islands of Meedhoo and Ismahelahera states.

The EIA had earlier recommended the government to seek alternatives saying the use dynamite can be dangerous and should not be used.

The main-opposition Maldivian Democratic Party criticising government for “reneging” on its international commitments said that the action will cause “irreversible damage”. The party also urged government to respect its international commitments.

“Disregarding the EIA recommendations, it is deeply worrying the Minister of Environment has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve the use of dynamite to blast the reef in Meedhoo…. It is deeply troubling the Maldives government is engaged in activities that will further cause irreversible damage.”” MDP said in the statement issued on Saturday.

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Ahmed Saleem at COP22


Maldivians took Twitter to run an online campaign to bring the attention of the ongoing COP22 where Ahmed Saleem is currently representing the Maldives and Alliance of Small Island States (AIOSIS).


According to Act on Environment Protection using dynamite for blasting coral reefs is an offence punishable by huge fees.

The practice of blasting coral reefs was discontinued by former President Maumoon Gayoom in the Maldives due to its negative impact on the environment.

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More than 60% of coral in reefs in the Maldives has been hit by “bleaching” as the world is gripped by record temperatures in 2016 due a strong “El Nino” phenomenon, the Guardian reported in August. The Maldives which is just 4 feet above sea level contains around 3% of the world’s coral reefs and is considered particularly at risk due climate change and sea level rises.

Shoko Noda, UNDP Representative of Maldives had also tweeted asking for action on climate change ahead of COP22.

UNDP Maldives also called for action on climate change saying that livelihoods and economy in the Maldives depend on natural resources.

Election Commission Scraps Plan To Introduce E-Voting In Local Council Elections

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Local council elections scheduled in January next year will have traditional voting as the Election Commission has decided to scrap the plans to introduce e-voting following criticism from opposition parties.

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The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that the decision was taken after appeals from political parties who had threatened to boycott the elections if e-voting took place.

Both Maldivian Democratic Party and Jumhooree Party had expressed concern over implementation of e-voting and alleged rigging.

MDP had said that it would not contest the elections alleging that e-voting will allow government and ruling parties to rig the elections.  MDP maintained that e-voting was unnecessary “in a country with a small voting population where results are announced within a few hours.”

Earlier in May, European Union ambassador to Maldives and Sri Lanka, David Daley had put question mark over the preparedness to implement the electronic system following which the then Home Minister Umar Naseer assured that the decision won’t be implemented until and unless people agreed.

The opposition to implement e-voting gained momentum when the former President of the Elections Commission, Fuad Thaufeeq, voiced his concern saying that the people of the Maldives have lost confidence in the institution and that there was no need of introducing electronic voting in the island nation.

The local council elections are scheduled to take place from January 14 next year.

The elections headquarters are most likely to be set up at Jamalludeen school building in Malé.

The commission also notified that the process of filing nomination will be online and the candidates can file their application before November 15.

According to the electoral body, 563 councillors will be elected to 179 island councils, 67 councillors to 18 atoll councils, and 23 councillors to three city councils, Maldives Independent reported.

In last election in 2014, MDP won 41.5 per cent votes with 457 seats while ruling PPM won 25.5 per cent with 281 seats.

Other parties Jumhooree Party and Maldives Democratic Alliance who were PPM’s coalition partner won 11.4 per cent and 5.4 per cent votes respectively. The Adhaalath Party won 45 seats making it to 4.1 per cent.

MDP Cries Foul Over Election Commission’s Removal Of MPs Eva Abdulla And Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

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In a deteriorating political climate in the Maldives, the Election Commission has struck off nearly half of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s members from its registry after the parliament approved a law requiring all political party members to submit their fingerprint records.

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Some 18,803 members were removed, reducing the main opposition party’s membership to 27,805 members.

The Election Commission on Thursday, effectively removed MDP MPs, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla from the Party’s membership list. MP Ibu Solih is a founding member of the MDP, and is also the Party’s Parliamentary Group Leader. MP Ibu Solih is currently serving his fifth term in Parliament, whereas MP Eva Abdulla is serving her second.

The Election Commission, whose independence has been compromised since the appointment of individuals politically aligned to the Yameen Government, began their insidious meddling with Party membership lists in July 2014.

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MDP MP Eva Abdulla is the first women to be elected to the governing council of the Maldives first democratic party.

A fingerprinted form for political party membership was first introduced by a regulation in 2010, and by law in 2013. Then in July 2014, the elections commission gave all parties a six-month deadline to re-register all members whose fingerprints were not on file.

Other parties affected by the law include the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party. The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives, which emerged as a breakaway faction of the DRP in 2011, will not be affected.

The PPM, with 37,633 members, is now the largest political party in the country.

The DRP lost nearly 10,000 members, and now has only 3,966 registered members. The JP’s membership was reduced by 3000, while some 1000 members were taken off the AP’s registry.

The JP now has 10,989 members, and the AP has 9,009.

The MDP and the DRP challenged the order at the civil court, arguing that the requirement cannot be applied retroactively, a view the attorney general has supported.

The case moved onto the High Court, which granted an injunction on the Election Commission’s order. In reaction to the injunction, the ruling party used its majority to circumvent the courts and passed an amendment to the Political Parties requiring all members to submit fingerprinted membership forms or be taken off the lists.

MPs Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla have submitted fingerprinted forms twice to the Election Commission only to be repeatedly rejected. Their forms were submitted prior to the deadline and following the second submission they were not informed of the cause of rejection.

MDP’s International Spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Gafoor said, “it is slightly suspicious how keen the EC were to inform Parliament of the removal of MDP MP Ibu Solih and MP Eva Abdulla when they and the Parliament have repeatedly refused to acknowledge the MDP’s requests to remove MP Moosa Manik as a member of the MDP’s Parliamentary Group. The EC’s actions continue to obstruct peaceful political activity, making a mockery of our constitution and the hopes for a free and fair election.”


Although the PPM claims the law is necessary to prevent fraud, MDP MPs said it was aimed at reducing the party’s membership, and cutting off its state funding, as the number of members in a party determines the size of the annual grant it receives from the state budget.

The elections commission has meanwhile withheld funding for all political parties citing leadership vacuums and mismanagement by some parties.

This comes at a time when there is growing disillusionment in the institutions of the Maldives, including the independence of the Election Commission.

In July, former President of the Elections Commission, , had said that the people of the  have lost confidence in the institution and that there was no need of introducing in the island nation.

 

Maldives: It’s Back To Square One!

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Even as reactions continue to pour in over the weekend on Maldives’ decision to exit the Commonwealth, alleging ‘unfair and unjust treatment’, the leadership of President Abdulla Yameen has moved on with the next political move, this one nearer home. The Yameen faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) got a civil court order removing former President and half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as party head and replacing the latter’s team with another one of the President’s choice.
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On the opposition’s front, yet another former President, Mohammed ‘Anni’ Nasheed, too shed all semblances of fighting for democracy in the Maldives. From his overseas home in the UK, where he has been granted political asylum after jumping prison-leave for spinal surgery, Nasheed’s legal team has announced their decision to move UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, on a near-single point, for him to be able to contest the presidential polls, now due in 2018.

The Nasheed decision followed the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s (CMAG) inability to initiate any ‘action’ of the kind that his camp had envisaged against the Yameen government through its three meetings in the current year. The CMAG’s next meeting is fixed for March 2017 when it had threatened to take Maldives on its agenda to deny the nation participation in Commonwealth Council meetings and the rest.
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Nasheed’s decision to move the UNHRC also came only days before the Yameen government declared that it was quitting the Commonwealth. If earlier the Nasheed camp might have indicated that the Commonwealth was a toothless tiger, if at all, the Yameen decision has indicated that all CMAG initiatives of whatever kind have become infructuous with retrospective effect.

In a way, Nasheed’s team seemed to have foreseen the possibilities before moving the UNHRC, though it’s unclear if they had any specific information that Yameen would act faster on the Commonwealth front than anticipated – that’s ahead of the March session. On other related spheres, too, the government has acted quick and fast, dropping all links to the Commonwealth. Maldivian missions overseas have now become Embassies in the place of High Commissions, a term linked to the membership of the Commonwealth.
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With all this, Yameen seems to have reduced his ‘development’ agenda into a single-point scheme to be able to contest – and win – a second term, the highest under the existing 2008 constitution. Nasheed too has reduced all talks of democracy and ‘inclusive elections’ to include his name alone – or, also – in the ballot for 2018 polls. With their current moves thus, they have shed the fig-leaf of fighting for a cause, whatever it be, and have reduced it all into a fight for personal supremacy, which is what it had been from day one.

It’s anybody’s guess if the UNHRC could move any faster than the Commonwealth on Nasheed’s initiative, and provide for ‘inclusive’ elections of the kind that he and his followers within the larger Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) wants. Old Maldives hands would recall how Nasheed in his own way had ‘hijacked’ the MDP and with that the larger democracy plank when the Gayoom presidency was seemingly unending and autocratic.
Nearer home, thus, it’s equally unclear if there are other presidential aspirants in the MDP, who may want to contest the party primaries ahead of the 2018 polls, or would they unanimously adopt his name, as they did – or, were forced to do – in 2013. If Nasheed were allowed to contest the next presidential polls, whatever the ways and reasons, would his camp revive the earlier posturing that his first term remained incomplete after his resignation/coup in February 2012, is another politico-constitutional question that the party too may need to address, early on.
Even as the government was preparing to announce Maldives’ exit from the Commonwealth, the Yameen-majority PPM parliamentary group initiated motions of political rapprochement between the governmental and organisational wings. Or, so did it seem at the time. They called for brothers Yameen and Gayoom to patch up differences, and asked for time to meet with both.

Photo Courtesy: President's Office


 Yameen gave time, and Gayoom did not – and that was enough for the Yameen camp to move the civil courts and obtain an order, unseating Gayoom from his party presidency. Earlier, the parliamentary group stuck to their sacking Gayoom’s older son, Faraas, from membership and declared his disqualification to represent PPM in the all-party negotiations, purportedly revived by the government, post-CMAG.
Today, the all-party negotiations have lost their relevance in the Commonwealth’s context, but may still remain, even as a lip-service by all, given the government’s continued commitment to stay ‘engaged’ with the international community. Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who resigned to take up the Commonwealth Special Rapporteur assignment for Maldives, may be ‘unemployed’ just now, but that need not be the case with the UN special envoy, Tamrat Samuel.
A lot however would depend on which way the Yameen leadership on the one hand, and the MDP-led political opposition on the other, and the Gayoom camp, on the third could turn, and turn up, on the all-party negotiations. Already, all sections have gone back on their perceived post-CMAG commitments. The government has continued with pre-conditions that convicts could not be named (say, by the MDP) to rep resent them. The MDP too has harped on the same, after enthusiastically accepting the government’s invitation – but leaving it to the leadership to decide the party nominees for the talks.
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Just now, the Gayoom’s camp’s legal and political positions are unclear. Maumoon is expected to challenge his court-ordered removal as PPM head in higher judicial forums. Alongside and alternatively, he can be expected to consider floating a new party – the third since 2008 – and still nominate son Faraas to the political negotiations, if invited. Yameen’s foe-turned-friend-turned-foe of the past five years, former Home Minister Umar Naseer, too is hoping to be nominated for the presidential polls by the Gayoom camp, making it politically difficult for Gayoom to keep it within the family, still.

After distancing itself from Nasheed’s early claims to an emerging/existing alliance against Yameen, the Gayoom camp surprised followers and foes alike by participating in a recent all-opposition news conference against the nation’s Election Commission – and by extension, the incumbent government. They were protesting against the EC delaying/denying funds disbursements for recognised political parties, as laid down under the 2008 constitution, citing what they considered were ‘extraneous reasons’.
The EC however has threatened to de-recognise parties whose leaders were living overseas and were not available to update Commission documents and electoral lists’ as required. Nasheed and his associates in the MDP-led Maldives United Opposition (MUO), apart from the parties that they lead, are candidates for such de-recognition. Would the MDP and other parties in the EC’s list ‘elect’ leaders for an interim period, which could extend indefinitely, if only to be on EC’s records of recognised political parties authorised to contest future elections, is the question they should be asking themselves.
Over the medium-term, however, with Nasheed out of the country and prison without authorisation, and continuing to remain ‘disqualified’ from contesting the elections, any alternative arrangement  is for the MDP to make and in good time. Independent of the ‘terrorism’ trial that was heaped on Nasheed for what r remained an ordinary criminal trial in the ‘Judge Adbulla abduction case’ dating back to the former’s months as president, the inability of the international community to have an ‘inclusive’ election as he has now envisaged, could flag political, rather than diplomatic issues of their own.
Hopes now thus lie more on the effective revival of the political negotiations, under UN care than on any UNHRC initiatives. There again, the government has been maintaining stoic silence on the continued relevance of the UN group on arbitrary detentions naming Nasheed’s as ‘one’, which it had condemned unequivocally when made. None of the stake-holders, including the UN, can ride on multiple tigers, and hope to reach their destination, purportedly common.
It’s back to square one – who winks first, if at all, how and for how long, and who does not. In context, Maldives quitting the Commonwealth, and the latter feeling saddened about what anyway was in the making, and the UK as the Commonwealth’s founder and eternal chair, too feeling upset, have only academic relevance just now.
So are all the protests and criticisms of the Maldivian exit from the Commonwealth, both from within and outside the country….at least until the other stakeholders have a point to make, and make it loud, clear and effectively in ways the Maldivian state apparatus and the Yameen leadership hear, understand, and are compelled to act upon.  The irony is that the solution to the Maldivian imbroglio lies within, and international diplomacy can only take it away not closer to the ‘collective goal’, which is just not there, either.

(N. Sathiya Moorthy is Director, Chennai Chapter of the Observer  Research Foundation.  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FocusMaldives.)
This article was originally published on South Asia Monitor. It has been republished with permission.

MDP Slams Govt For Stifling All-Party Talks By Dictating “Preconditions”

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The main-opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has slammed the government for stifling the all-party talks by “overstepping” its mandate and dictating “preconditions”.

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Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MDPSecretariat

Expressing deep concern on government’s decision to block convicted members in the all-party, MDP said it was a clear attempt by the government to “obstruct” the UN- mediated talks.

President Yameen has plunged this country into an international- pariah state, and is not in a position to dictate preconditions. While the MDP is committed to sincere dialogue, we are also concerned that President Yameen is using the talks to hoodwink the international community, while he buys time for him to fully change the Maldives into an autocratic state

The President’s Office sent a letter dated October 4 signed by President Abdulla Yameen  said that the representatives from all the parties will be council approved and that “the government will not accept a nominee if the person is currently serving a sentence.”

The letter was clearly pointed out to former President Mohamed Nasheed who was most likely to be MDP’s representative for the talks. MDP even had his release along with other prisoners on agenda for the talks with government.

“(This is) superfluous meddling in the internal running of the Party… the government that it has no legal mandate to dictate internal matters of the parties,” MDP said in a statement on Tuesday.

Refusing to accept pre-conditions, MDP said that the party has not yet communicated who will represent the party at the talks and reminded government’s declaration of no  preconditions after Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s threat to suspend the country from the group.

Government and opposition parties in September agreed to hold all-party talks to chalk out crisis in the country following CMAG’s decision to put the Maldives on formal agenda in which they adocated “time-bound dialogue without preconditions”.

“Government is deliberately overstepping its mandate in an attempt to frustrate this party and other opposition parties to withdraw support from the talks,” MDP said.

Prez Yameen Effectively Bars ‘Convicted’ Nasheed From All-Party Talks

in Mas-Huni Brief by

After Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s (CMAG) threat to suspend the Maldives from the group, both government and all opposition parties agreed to take part in all-party talks, however, on Monday President’s office (PO) issuing a whip said that politicians serving criminal sentences including former President Mohamed Nasheed cannot take part in the talks.

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  • The message was conveyed through a letter sent to political parties by Minister of State at the President’s Office (PO), Mohamed Mujthaz
  • The letter was attributed to President Abdulla Yameen
  • Maldivian Democratic Party had proposed to former President Mohamed Nasheed and Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Imran Abdulla in the talks
  • Both of them were sentenced on terrorism charges
  • MDP has Nasheed’s release on agenda for the talks
  • PO also questioned AP’s function and said that the party’s decisions were questionable

Read full story at VNews

Ex-Prez Mohamed Nasheed Knocks UN’s Door To Get His Political Rights Restored Before 2018 Presidential Elections

in News/Politics by

With Presidential elections due in 2018 and amid growing resentment in the Maldives due to dictatorial nature of the government, former President Mohamed Nasheed has moved to United Nations seeking to restore his political rights that were “illegally” removed by “wrongful” conviction.

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Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed filed a formal complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, seeking to restore his political rights that were illegally removed by operation of his wrongful conviction on bogus terrorism charges.

The poster boy of the Maldivian democracy, Nasheed in a formal complaint asked UN Human Rights Committee to restore his political rights to lead his opposition Maldivian Democratic Party ahead of 2018 presidential election.

Nasheed, who is currently in the United Kingdom in exile, was automatically disqualified from running for political office under the country’s Constitution and from holding a leadership position in a political party under the Amendment to the Prison and Parole Act after he was convicted for 13-years in prison on the charges of terrorism.

“Today, counsel for former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed filed a formal complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, seeking to restore his political rights that were illegally removed by operation of his wrongful conviction on bogus terrorism charges,” a statement released on Friday said adding “This includes his right to participate in the 2018 presidential elections and to lead his opposition political party, the Maldivian Democratic Party.”

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The Maldives is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty that is binding on its government under international law

Articles 25 and 22 of that treaty provide for the rights to political participation and to freedom of association, respectively.  The Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, to which the Maldives is also a party, provides an individual complaint mechanism for violations of the treaty.

In his 20-page submission, Nasheed also highlighted UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s findings which said that Nasheed’s arrest, conviction, sentence, and imprisonment on terrorism charges was “arbitrary” and in “violation” of international law.

On the submission, Nasheed’s lawyer Jared Genser said:

We have filed our complaint before the Human Rights Committee because any disqualification from running for office or leading a political party emanating from what has been found to be an arbitrary detention by an independent and impartial international tribunal is fruit of the poisonous tree and hence null and void by the standards of international law.

The first democratically elected President of the Maldives, Nasheed was convicted of terrorism in March 2015 on terrorism charges for 13 years for kidnapping a judge which was later upheld by the Supreme Court stripping him of any political rights.

Human Rights Lawyer Nazim Sattar Suspended From Criminal Court For Criticising Judiciary

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Well-known human rights lawyer and brother of former President Mohamed Nasheed Nazim Abdul Sattar has been suspended by the criminal court from six months on the charges of insulting the judges and inciting hatred against judiciary.


Nazim has been banned from representing clients for six months until April 6, 2017 by the criminal court’s chief justice Abdul Bari Yoosuf.

Nazim’s suspension came after he accused a criminal court judge of denying legal representation to one of his clients in a complaint.

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According to Maldives Independent, criminal court judge Ibrahim Ali had ruled that one of Nazim’s client will be kept in police custody until the trial concluded without notifying him.

Nazim called his suspension “yet another assault on free speech,” and added, ““This is deeply concerning. It will hard for my clients to find lawyers who will work pro bono.”

The suspension, however, does not bar Nazim from representing clients in other courts.

Nazim was also representing whistleblower Gasim Ibrahim, former Bank of Maldives manager, who exposed how money meant for state coffers was allegedly siphoned off to personal accounts, currently under trial on the charges of leaking personal bank account details of his client.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party Maldivian Democratic Party expressed concern on his suspension.

This is not first time when a lawyer has been suspended from courts. In November 2015, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s lawyer was suspended and a criminal inquiry against him was ordered following which he fled the country.

MDP To Join All Party Talks

in Mas-Huni Brief by

The main-opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which has been refusing to indulge in all party talks in the past demanding release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and other political prisoners, has now agreed to engage dialouge with government on current political crisis after Commonwealth’s appeal.

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  • MDP’s national council decided to heed Commonwealth’s call to engage in dialogue
  • MDP Vice President Mohamed Shifaz proposed a resolution for the party’s leadership to assign representatives for talks
  • MDP will seek the release of Nasheed and other jailed politicians during the talks
  • The party called on the government to “immediately engage” in political dialogue with all stakeholders
  • Government has asked MDP and its ally Adhaalath Party to send details of its representatives

On the decision to engage in talks, Shifaz said,

This is not a step backwards. The MDP will seek the release of Nasheed and other jailed politicians during the talks, which should proceed with international mediators

Read full report at Maldives Independent

Colombo Cauldron: Yameen’s Presidency Is Crumbling As MUO Goes After His Corruption & #TheOilLeaks Coming Soon

in News/Politics by

In November 2013, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom was elected the president of the Maldives following the alleged “televised coup” of the first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed. Two years and nine months into his rule, politically isolated Yameen now fears ouster by the opposition forces by led the Maldives United Opposition (MUO).

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As the MUO leaders reached Colombo on August 25, speculations over the ‘removal plot’ mounted through a report by BBC- which attributing to its sources- claimed that the “tiny island nation are looking to move against him within weeks.”

MUO’s poster boy and ex-President Nasheed was reportedly present in Colombo to take part in “an important sit-down” to analyse the political situation and strategise on crisis.

Jumping the gun, a government spokesman, whom the news agency did not name, confirmed the attempts of ‘legally’ overthrowing the government with a disclaimer that it would be a “clear breach of international norms.”

“As in every democracy it is the people, via the ballot, who will decide who will next take office,” said the spokesman as quoted by BBC.

And soon, a few loyal leaders of Yameen, spoke candidly about shielding the government from the expected coup d’état.

“We are keeping a close watch on the political landscape. The military and government offices are connected. The army will not allow a transfer of power,” he said in a televised meeting on the state broadcaster TVM two days after arresting four soldiers for allegedly conspiring to overthrow Yameen.

Earlier this month, eight soldiers were also detained on the similar charges, some also had their phone confiscated and are under investigation by MNDF.

COMING SOON! FOCUS MALDIVES’ EXCLUSIVE ON THE $800 MILLION OIL LEAKS

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The MNDF had earlier barred its soldiers from socialising or meeting with politicians, including ministers, and foreigners without permission to prevent feared attempts of toppling the government.

Ruling MP Ahmed Nihan also sending out a clear message to the opposition said, “Even if a gun is held to President Yameen’s head and he is ordered to sign a resignation letter, he will not sign it, even if he falls dead.”

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Yameen’s spokesman Ibrahim Hussain Shihab confirming the political developments as well and alleging a conspiracy with the help of “external forces” which the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) refuted.

But, the party did verify that the opposition leaders were in Colombo to work out strategies to legally topple Yameen, according to AFP.

READ: FOCUS MALDIVES’ EXCLUSIVE ON THE OIL LEAKS- HOW POLITICIANS & BUREAUCRATS MASTERMINDED THE BIGGEST SCAM IN THE MALDIVES

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The hatch to oust Yameen that has been on MUO’s agenda since its formation in June, intensified parallely at a time when Yameen is under scanner once again for corruption in oil sales to Myanmar dating a decade ago.

The amount of corruption is $800 million.

Also accusing Yameen and his associates of receiving kickbacks from government owned islands, Nasheed told The New York Times, “President Yameen is very, very corrupt, and all the evidence is available. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Government rejected the allegations and called it ploy by “political rivals”. Yameen’s spokesman Sihab defend the government by saying that Yameen never sold oil to Myanmar during his tenure and dismissed receiving illegal payments via oil deals or land deals.

paradiseA documentary titled “Stealing Paradise” announced by Doha-based Al Jazeera that claims to reveal ‘mass corruption, theft and abuse of power in the Maldives’ also coincides with the opposition’s headway.

Downplaying the allegations and criticism, Yameen’s supporters accused MUO of jealousy and hailed him for his “successful development agenda” under #HealingParadise.

The supporters of Yameen even accused opposition of being close to the colonial powers as MUO’s top leadership- Nasheed along with former Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and MDP Chairman Ali Waheed- were granted asylum by the British government.

Yameen is already reeling under international pressure to step down for abuse of power, flouting human rights and stifling dissent during his regime.

He has also alienated himself from the top political leadership including the longest ruling dictator, half-brother and mentor Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Most of his cabinet ministers – who now have representation in MUO- have been jailed or sacked, while some chose to resign due to his “dictatorial” attitude.

While former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Defence Minister Ahmed Nazim were jailed, former Vice President Ali Waheed was impeached; former Home Minister Umar Naseer and former Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon chose to resign.

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