Police raided the activity hub of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) late Wednesday on charges that the opposition plans to disrupt the official visit of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to the Maldives scheduled for the third week of this month.
According to sources, Police spent two hours inspecting the headquarters and subsequently left carrying canvas fabrics used to create MDP banners for the Local Council Elections and some ink pads.
In a tweet, Police stated that the raid was conducted under a court order over reports received that the opposition party plans to hinder the official visits of top diplomats to the Maldives.
They also released an official statement prior to the raid, stating that Police has received information of certain parties planning actions that would potentially compromise the honour and dignity of the visiting diplomats. The statement warned legal action against any entities that work to unlawfully obstruct King Salman’s visit.
MDP has denounced the raid, declaring that it was politically motivated and conducted under baseless charges. The party’s Secretary General Anas Abdul Sattar stated that Police did not find any evidence pertaining to the charges in the court order.
Noting that the headquarters are currently being used as the main centre of MDP’s campaign for the upcoming Local Council Elections, SG Anas added that MDP believes the true objective of the police raid was to hinder the party’s campaign activities as the elections are drawing near.
The party further said that the raid indicates the level of political influence among the police.