Residents of Alif Dhaal atoll Maamigili island has begun a petition calling for the release of Maamigili constituency's lawmaker, Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim, who has been arrested for allegedly bribing lawmakers and attempting to topple the government.
According to the president of Maamigili Island Council, Junaid Ibrahim, the residents do not believe that Qasim was arrested for committing any crimes and hence are calling for his immediate release by sending the petition to the parliament. He added that, including the Maamigili residents, many of Qasim’s supporters are also expected to sign the petition.
Junaid further questioned whether Qasim's arrest is justified for simply making a statement promising additional allowance for lawmakers who vote in favor of the motion of no confidence recently sought against the parliament speaker, whereas there are other lawmakers out there who have clearly confessed to having bribery money.
“Hence Maamigili citizens do not want him arrested,” added Junaid.
The prosecution has pressed three charges and trials have already begun against Qasim regarding the statement he gave at the opposition rally promising additional allowances to all lawmakers that vote in favour of the no confidence motion against Speaker Abdulla Maseeh. However, Qasim has denied all charges against him.