5 August 2018, MALE: The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is seriously concerned that President Yameen is laying the groundwork to cancel or postpone the 23 September presidential elections.
Yesterday, on his Facebook page, Minister of Defence Adam Shareef Umar claimed he had uncovered a “plot to destabilise the Maldives” and ordered the police and military to be on high alert. The Minister did not make the announcement through the proper ministerial channels, nor did he reveal any evidence of the so-called plot.
This announcement is the latest in a long list of underhand and unlawful tactics used by President Yameen to subvert the will of the Maldivian people in the presidential elections. Yameen has resorted to banning his opponents from standing for election, using the corrupt Elections Commission and the police to target the opposition’s campaign, and offering bribes for votes.
Moreover, in the past, Yameen has used imaginary threats of plots to destabilise the country, along with fake bomb scares, to justify the imposition of a State of Emergency, which he then uses as a pretext to crack down on his political opponents.
Yameen still hasn’t submitted his own candidacy papers so he can stand in the election. He even missed the first deadline to do so. His campaign so far has been plagued by missteps and mistakes. There are even rumours that Yameen is planning to drop his running mate Shaheem from the ticket, following a disastrous TV interview by Shaheem last week, in which the prospective VP appeared ignorant of many policy issues.
An MDP spokesperson said:
“President Yameen is running scared from an election he knows he can’t win. This is why he’s inventing cowardly excuses to cancel or delay the election.
“The European Union, in their deliberations regarding targeted sanctions, should pay close attention to Defence Minister Shareef, who appears willing to do the President’s dirty work in order to sabotage the election.
“Maldivians are sick and tired of Yameen’s corruption, lies, and brutality, and know it’s time for a change.”