The Maldivian Democratic Party, the main opposition party, said on Twitter police had arrested Mohamed Ameeth and Abdulla Ahmed, two lawmakers who had defected from Yameen's party and two more from other opposition parties late on Monday.Independent television Raajje TV, which showed footage of police forcibly blocking protesters, said Abdulla Ahmed was arrested while giving a media interview about the protest.
In the backdrop of an escalating political crisis and a purge initiated by Maldives’ President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Former Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Abdulla Shahid, speaks to Hardnews about the island nation’s growing proximity to China and the plight of its democratic system. Shahid, who played a key role in the Maldives’ transition to democracy in 2008, sounds an ominous warning for Maldives’ current regime which is indulging in a dangerous power play by pitting India against China. He also deliberates on how parliamentary democracy is being smothered in the Maldives, recounting his own experience of being prosecuted for entering Parliament, and stresses on the role the Opposition can play in challenging the prevailing narrative. The interview was conducted before Emergency was declared.
In the Maldives, the shelf life of Vice Presidents is very limited. Muhammad Jameel Ahmed was President Abdulla Yameen’s running mate and later Vice President. He was impeached in absentia on charges of terrorism. Hardnews spoke with him as he emerged from a gym in London, where he has been living in exile since 2015. Jameel was scathing in his criticism of President Yameen and how he had subverted democratic institutions to facilitate mass corruption. The former Vice President also said that Yameen was closer to China as they collaborated in his moneymaking enterprise and did not exert any moral pressure on him. These activities were difficult with a democratic India.
President Yameen had brought me in as a running mate because I had greater appeal among the masses. He sat through the campaign in Male, while I made 400 trips to 209 islands of our country.
China on Thursday said it has never attached any political conditions to aiding the Maldives, and the aid has done no harm to the country's sovereignty and independence, let alone jeopardised the Indian Ocean area's security.
In the backdrop of an escalating political crisis and a purge initiated by Maldives’ President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Former Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Abdulla Shahid, speaks to Hardnews about the island nation’s growing proximity to China and the plight of its democratic system.