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Bad weather forces Maldives opposition to postpone first rally

Mohamed Visham
15 July 2016, MVT 11:49
Police block MDP protesters as they tried to march to celebrate its 11th anniversary on Monday. MIHAARU PHOTO/ALI NAAFIZ
Mohamed Visham
15 July 2016, MVT 11:49

Newly formed Maldives United Opposition (MUO) has indefinitely postponed its first rally originally slated for Thursday due to bad weather.

A MUO official said the rally would be held as soon as the weather improves and the date would be duly announced.

Continuous rain fall and gusty winds throughout Thursday forced the opposition to call off its first rally.

The decision to postpone the rally came after the opposition had defied a government u-turn on granting a venue for the rally.

Housing ministry had finally yielded to opposition pressure on Tuesday after top opposition officials camped inside the housing ministry to obtain the permit to hold the rally more than a month after putting in the request.

However, Housing minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu called a sudden press conference on Thursday to annul the permit insisting that the government cannot allow a rally intended to incite the public to commit an unlawful act.”

“We will not allow anyone to undermine the peace and stability of the country,” Muizzu said during the press conference before walking out without taking questions.

Responding to Muizzu’s comments, MDP pointed out that the ministry has always allowed for joint political party gatherings.

The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) continues to hold its rallies jointly with its coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), MDP argued.

The MUO brings together the Maldivian Democratic Party, the Adhaalath Party, two of president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s former deputies and his former defence minister.

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