The leader of the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Mr Abdullah Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom has been summoned for questioning by the Maldives Police Service (MPS). According to Mr Muhammad Hussain Shareef; Secretary-General of the PPM; said that Mr Abdul-Gayyoom was expected to appear at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.
These summons come a week prior to newly-elected President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s first foreign visit to India next week. It is believed that Mr Abdul-Gayyoom’s summons come to divert public attention away from Mr Solih’s visit to India where he is expected to sign an agreement with the South Asian giant which allows for a “permanent presence” of Indian military personnel on Maldivian soil.
Anonymous sources have also claimed that the ruling Coalition wish to behead the Maldives’ single-party opposition by arresting and charging its leader before the upcoming Majlis elections.
During the administration of Mr Mohamed Nasheed, leader of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mr Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom had been abducted from his home by military personnel on Mr Nasheed’s orders. This abduction had been justified as “protective custody”. Mr Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom had been kept against his will in Aarah, the Presidential Retreat island. The Maldivian military had also refused to present Mr Yameen in court, despite an order from the Criminal Court.
Mr Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom and his half-brother Mr Maumoon Abdul-Gayyoom had also been subjects of an investigation launched by Mr Nasheed’s party which some had characterized as a “witch-hunt”. The commission which Mr Nasheed had created to investigate Mr Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom and his brother were not able to prove any of the allegations made against them.
The official reason for the summons has been cited as being regarding Mr Yameen Abdul-Gayyoom’s bank account’s financial activity in relation to the September 23 election.