The main ruling MDP’s chairperson criticized the PPM-PNC’s presidential candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu on Friday, saying that he wasn’t the candidate of the main opposition coalition, but that of violent extremists, and criminal networks.
Fayyaz Ismail, who also serves as the country’s economic minister, made the comment during MDP’s ‘Ufaaveri Male’ campaign rally.
Addressing the rally, Fayyaz said he doesn’t want to see this country’s youth, women and girls confined in their homes, and hidden away from the community.
“I don’t want to see this country fall into the same situation as that of our fellow SAARC nation, Afghanistan,” he said.
Fayyaz said the country’s youth, especially young women, must think deep about it, and say no to “such attempts to mislead.”
“Our rival candidate is not the candidate from PNC. He has links to extremist parties in this country, and with criminal networks,” he said.
He was referring to the religious group, Salaf.
MDP has long accused Salaf of propagating violent extremism – an allegation the group denies.
And with his personal ties with some top Salaf members, MDP has accused Muizzu of getting backing from the group for his presidential campaign.
Fayyaz said that the current term has been the most peaceful five years the Maldives has experienced in recent times.
He said that the term was ending without the arrest of any court judges.
“There hasn’t been a single administration in the past where a judge wasn’t arrested. They were arrested in 2008, in 2013, and before 2008,” he said.
Fayyaz also accused the faction that broke from MDP to form The Democrats of working to promote their selfish agendas, over the greater good of the country.
“You do not need to lash out at the people if you fail to come to power, or fail to get as involved in the administration as they want,” he said.
He invited Democrats’ general members to rejoin MDP.