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Maldives must dispel its criminal image: Nasheed

Fathmath Shaahunaz
07 November 2018, MVT 17:20
Former President Mohamed Nasheed speaks to the public during his visit to Addu City. PHOTO/MDP
Fathmath Shaahunaz
07 November 2018, MVT 17:20

The Maldives is at a point where it must prove that it is not a "criminal" to the rest of the world, former President Mohamed Nasheed declared on Wednesday.

Speaking to the residents of Hithadhoo during his ongoing visit to Addu City, Nasheed criticised the administration of outgoing President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, saying that the country has become a "hub" for money laundering and black money.

He declared that the government of President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is tasked with cleansing Maldives of its image as a "bad state", after his presidential inauguration on November 17.

Nasheed's sentiment echoes the criticism of the opposition coalition, accusing the current administration as the most corrupt in history. The opposition has alleged that various top government officials are involved in graft cases.

The former president assured that the country will receive more financial assistance and investments from foreign sources, after the Maldives establishes its reputation as a democratic and fair nation.

Nasheed urged the people to elect lawmakers of his party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), in the parliamentary election slated for next year March. He stated that unless MDP won the majority of the parliament, "we will see ministers being fired once a day".

He further stated that he did not wish for the government to involve the military in parliamentary sittings, referring to the army officers that were stationed inside the parliament chamber during sittings over the past year and half. The military was stationed to control and halt the protests held by opposition lawmakers at the sessions.

Nasheed arrived at Addu City on Tuesday and was welcomed warmly by his supporters. He has met with the members of Addu City Council, and visited the Equatorial Convention Centre which is being developed as a 100-bed tertiary hospital.

The former president had been in self-exile since January 2016, residing in the UK under political asylum after he was convicted to 13-years in jail under terrorism charges. He returned to the Maldives last Thursday, after the Supreme Court issued a stay order on Nasheed's conviction.

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