Knives out in Maldives as President Solih and Speaker Nasheed at loggerheads

New DelhiWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Aug 01, 2022, 11:52 AM IST
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The development comes days after Nasheed, a former president of the country, on Twitter said that his brother has been arrested by President Solih's administration, terming it 'politically motivated to appease hardline extremists in the coalition'

The knives are out in the Maldives as members of the ruling Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) are planning a no-confidence motion against Parliament Speaker Md. Nasheed. Both President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker Mohamed Nasheed are from the same party—MDP.


The development comes days after Nasheed, a former president of the country, on Twitter said that his brother has been arrested by "President Solih's administration" terming it "politically motivated to appease hardline extremists in the coalition".

Nasheed has also accused President Solih of adultery, something that has been dismissed by the president's office. The latest controversy comes even as Maldives heads for Presidential elections next year and a bitter power struggle ensues within the ruling party.

Earlier in an interview to WION, when asked whether he will fight the elections next year, Nasheed said, "I don’t want to rule out. If people and our party members decide that I should contest, then I will do that".

Meanwhile, last week, a key collation member of the Maldives government, the Adhaalath Party, issued a research paper that outlines the party's policy towards Yoga and that it is forbidden for Muslims. The detailed document, which is on the conservative party's, website elaborates on Yoga's links with Hinduism and urged "Maldives President and people of the Maldives to uphold Islamic Principles".


The detailed research paper was issued last week and points out that such "steps must be taken that such practices are not normalised" in the country and it is against Islamic beliefs. The President of the party, Imran Abdulla, is the country's home minister.

It comes almost a month after an extremist mob stormed the Yoga Day celebrations in the capital Male. The event was organised by the Indian High Commission in Maldives, along with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment and UN Maldives.

Maldivian Minister of Youth and Sports, Indian High commissioner and Maldives Foreign Secretary were present as were many High Commissioners and UN resident coordinator when the shocking incident happened that involved attack on Yoga practitioners.

Maldives government had acted against those involved in the attack and issued a strong condemnation of the incident. Maldives President Solih and the ruling MDP issued a statement over the incident with President in a Tweet dubbing it a "matter of serious concern".


The foreign ministry condemned the "violent acts perpetrated" by a "group of individuals targeting the participants, including members of the diplomatic community". The statement pointed out that "such malicious acts of violence aimed at disrupting public safety...will not be tolerated".

The Maldives authorities have arrested over 21 individuals over alleged links with the incident. The flags used in the attack, authorities say, were provided by opposition Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM). This party is led by former Maldives President Yameen, who is perceived to be closely aligned with China. It was under his tenure, that the Maldives developed closed relations with Beijing, especially on the investment front.