Security has been increased in Malé following a rise in gang activity in the city.
Two Addu City MP's were assaulted on Saturday, September 30 amid their runoff election works. Local authorities confirmed that Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef and Feydhoo MP Mohamed Nihad had been attacked.
Shareef was inside Manhattan Business Hotel with a few of his constituents when a gang entered the premises and assaulted him.
"I received a call that a gang had entered the premises where four female constituents were busy at work. They hit me on my face when I came to quell the commotion," Shareef said.
He further said that he was assaulted on the assumption that the MP and some of his constituents were bribing voters. He said the incident has been reported to Maldives Police Service already, and alleged that these attacks were carried out by a gang affiliated to the their opposition, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
In response to the incidents, the police said in a statement that they have taken necessary measures and strengthened the election safety measures after criminal group activities had spiked in the capital.
“Cases like these where people belonging to such groups threatening people, and attacking people involved in election work has been reported to the police service. The police are investigating these cases as serious issues,” the statement said.
Additionally, they are working to ensure public safety that is also maintained, they said.
Police have announced that they are investigating a distinct incident in which Feydhoo MP Nihad was assaulted on Saturday. While specific details remain unclear, Nihad was promptly taken to Feydhoo Health Center for medical treatment.
However, PPM denied the allegations made by MP Shareef. The party said that no member or supporter of PPM or People’s National Congress (PNC) was involved in the violence that took place in Malé and Addu Cities.
"I can assure you that PPM and PNC members and supporters are not involved in such activities. We are repeatedly advising people not to indulge in such activities," said Tholal, spokesperson of PNC's presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.