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DRP praises opposition alliance initiatives, calls to release ex-pres Yameen

Ahmed Aiham
13 September 2020, MVT 14:08
Maldives Police Service seen cordoning off a road in capital city male', disrupting and arresting multiple demonstrators during a motorcycle rally by opposition forces. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
13 September 2020, MVT 14:08

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), on Sunday, praised the initiatives of the opposition alliance of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC)m and called on the government to release jailed former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

DRP's remarks come at a time when opposition forces are continually voicing concerns over the incumbent administration "selling off Maldives", noting a threat against the country's sovereignty amid growing ties with neighbouring India.

The opposition also continue to demand for the release of former President Yameen, who is currently serving a five-year jail sentence on money laundering charges.

On Saturday, a motorcycle rally held by opposition forces was disrupted by Maldives Police Service, with 41 individuals arrested. While extending legal support for those arrested, leaders of the opposition alliance claimed that the protest was organized independent of the coalition.

Prior to the protest, Police warned of punitive measures if protesters acted in violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

DRP bashed the move, claiming that the pandemic was being used as a justification to hinder freedom of expression, further calling for the release of those arrested.

Headed by parliamentary representative for Kaafu Atoll's Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdulla Jabir, DRP previously negotiated with the alliance to collaborate on efforts against the current administration.

However, the alliance noted that DRP was not a member of the coalition, adding that the two were not cooperating on opposition initiatives.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party translates to Maldivian People’s Party and as of July 21, 2005, is the second political party to be formally registered in Maldives. Although DRP was founded by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, former president and estranged half-brother of Yameen, he left the party in 2011.