Former President Nasheed on Wednesday faced a seemingly impromptu greeting upon his visit to Thinadhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, by the candidate running for the island’s northern constituency, Abdul Mughunee, for whom Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has withdrawn support.
Following accusations of domestic abuse, the main party of the ruling coalition rescinded its endorsement with statements that it shall not partake in any of Mughunee’s campaign activities.
Considerable backlash quickly arose on social media, following the unexpected Mughunee-led welcome for MDP's President, which included introductions as Nasheed made his way shaking hands along a line-up of numerous islanders gathered in anticipation of his arrival.
The accusations first surfaced on social media, alleging that he abused his ex-wife in an incident that took place in 2008, which she then confirmed as having reported to the police.
However, in response to a letter sent by Mughunee to the police requesting information on whether any such cases were lodged against him, authorities responded they had no records of any incidents.
Despite the reveal, MDP stood by its decision not to support Mughunee’s candidacy, stating that the move was final.
The candidate expressed his disappointment at “the lack of investigation” preceding the decision, adding that it hinged “only on a tweet”.
Along with Mughunee, the constituency’s current parliament representative Saudulla Hilmy, endorsed by Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, is also contesting for the electoral seat. Joining them both is independent candidate Ikleel Adam. Maumoon offered words of support to MDP for the party’s decision to rescind Mughunee’s endorsement.