Maldives pres slams opposition in wake of local elections loss

President Yameen Speaking at Dharubaaruge Convention Center PHOTO: Mihaaru

President Yameen speaking at Dharubaaruge Convention Center. PHOTO: Mihaaru

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom slammed opposition leaders late Monday for the first time after the government’s massive defeat in the recent Local Council Elections.

Speaking at a ruling coalition rally, President Yameen mostly targeted main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and their candidates who won the majority of council seats. He also criticized his half-brother, Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who is currently working alongside the opposition, without mentioning his name.

The president proclaimed that the nation has no need for opposition leaders who covet the power to reign but hide abroad, and invited them to come back to the country. He was referring to convicted Former President Mohamed Nasheed, impeached former Vice President Mohamed Jameel, and former chairperson of MDP Ali Waheed, all of whom are self-exiled in the United Kingdom.

Declaring that no one is above the law, President Yameen highlighted that every leader of the opposition is fundamentally up against one another in the race for the president’s seat and that they cannot be of any help to each other.

In addition, the president noted that though MDP candidates have succeeded some of the constituencies in the local elections, no one should obstruct the development being brought to the country.

He also wryly questioned what accomplishments MDP councilors have achieved in the past with the majority of island councils.

Moreover, the president claimed that voter turnout was low in the Local Council Elections because the citizens are unsatisfied with the service of councils during the past regime. He added that some voters believe there is no need of voting in local elections due to the development being brought to the nation regardless.

Furthermore, the president also stressed that despite the courts giving him control of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), it had not been in a state to compete in any elections at the time due to the internal political fall-out in the party. Hence, he declared that the party had not had the strength and technical assistance for an election which had caused PPM to lose 23 constituencies.

According to the results released so far, MDP has won majority of the City Councils and greater populated areas of the country.

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