The Edition


Jumhoory Party leader challenges Maldives pres to call a referendum

Fathmath Shaahunaz
20 April 2017, MVT 12:31
Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim speaks at opposition rally. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
20 April 2017, MVT 12:31

Opposition Jumhoory Party’s leader Qasim Ibrahim called on President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to go for a referendum to prove the lawfulness of his government.

Speaking at an opposition coalition rally held at Jumhoory Party’s main hub late Wednesday, Qasim Ibrahim noted that all political leaders that had worked to bring President Yameen to power are now against his administration. He declared that under such circumstances, the president should be ashamed to remain in power.

He called on President Yameen to go for a referendum to prove the lawfulness of his government if he dares. Noting that the Constitution accords the president that right, Qasim said, “He could even take a vote with the members of parliament that are on his side. Please go for [a referendum] and I’ll bear witness to whether you have the power to rule.”

Referring to his numerous summons to Police headquarters under various allegations recently, Qasim reiterated that he will not step down from his work to reform the nation despite politically motivated hindrances and intimidation. Stating that jailing an elderly man like him for a political agenda would be a cowardly act, he challenged the president to do his worst, vowing to remain unflappable even if he should be killed for his efforts.

Qasim Ibrahim is one of the leading political leaders of the opposition coalition which has launched a movement to reform the nation. He has been highly critical of President Yameen’s administration and was recently summoned to the police for interrogations in connection with various accusations including bribery of parliamentarians, influencing the armed forces and judiciary, and working to illicitly topple the government. He has denied all accusations against him.

Meanwhile, the state has pressed three charges against Qasim for attempted bribery, coercion with regards to official duties and undue influence on voters. His trial at the Criminal Court is currently ongoing.