Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Wednesday declared that the state’s “pile up” of terrorism charges against convicted Former President Mohamed Nasheed is a dirty tactic for incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to maintain his grasp on his increasingly unpopular administration.
The state is pressing terrorism charges against Nasheed for the arbitrary detention of President Yameen in July 2010 during the former’s regime. He had first arrested President Yameen with accusations of plotting to topple the government. Following the Supreme Court’s order to release him, Nasheed had then placed him under military custody in Kaafu atoll Aarah island “for protection”. The current president has since disclosed that he had not been allowed to go farther than 100 feet from the bungalow where he was kept and that he had not been allowed to do anything without permission, all of which amounts to an “arrest”.
MDP in a statement condemned the government’s second terrorism charge against Nasheed, accusing President Yameen of orchestrating the police, prosecutor general and judiciary courts for political gains. They alleged that the president is piling up terrorism charges against his predecessor due to the declining popularity and public trust in his government. The party also referred to the voting process demonstrated in the motion of no confidence against the parliamentary speaker on Monday, declaring that the session’s proceedings indicate that the current government has already failed.
The statement also warned that the second terrorism charge will further blemish the image of the Maldives since foreign powers and institutions have already condemned and refused to recognize the previous conviction of Former President Nasheed.
MDP went on to say that political fame and authority are created from the people, and voiced concerns over President Yameen’s charges against political rivals and for “binding” the parliament and leaders of independent institutions. The opposition called on the president to revert to the principles of a just rule.
Former President Nasheed is already sentenced to 13 years in jail on terrorism charges for the arbitrary detention of a judge during his presidency. Nasheed’s first conviction on terrorism charges came about in 2015. However, upon receiving permission from the state to go abroad for medical treatment during his sentence, Nasheed left for the United Kingdom and has been living there under political asylum for over a year.
The first hearing of Nasheed's new trial is scheduled for Wednesday.