Maldives Police Service (MPS) has requested the opposition alliance’s presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to postpone his scheduled campaign trip to GA. Kolamaafushi.
According to police, they requested Solih to postpone the trip for security reasons as 18 suspects were arrested from Kolamaafushi on Thursday after a clash between supporters of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and supporters of the opposition alliance. The 18 suspects were arrested on three different issues, police said.
Speaking at a news conference, Spokesperson of Police Ahmed Shifan said that a security assessment on the island following the clash on Thursday shows that it is not safe for Solih to travel to Kolamaafushi at the moment.
“Kolamaafushi is not a safe environment to carry out campaign events at the moment. Hence, we have asked Ibrahim Mohamed Solih not to travel to Kolamaafushi at the moment. It is probable that Solih’s trip could further escalate the situation in the island and could result in people getting hurt”, Shifan said.
VNews understands the clash happened after Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters allegedly cut down some PPM banners and flags, in order to decorate the island for Solih’s visit. After which a clash took place between the supporters of the opposing sides, and some sustained various levels of injuries.
Solih was scheduled to arrive at Kolamaafushi next Saturday.
Shifan said that eight different complaints in relation to the elections have been submitted to them and that they are currently investigating the cases. However he did not disclose what the complaints were.
When Shifan was asked about the lack of arrests following an attempted attack on Solih at Hulhumale’ in plain view of the press, he said that they want to assure that if anything happens the police will investigate it.
When asked about the call to cut off former President Mohamed Nasheed’s head at a PPM gathering, Shifan said that they are investigating that case as well. Although he said that both the cases are being investigated, Shifan did not respond when asked if the police questioned any suspects or arrested anyone in relation to the cases.
Shifan requested not to view police politically and stated that they are currently readying for the upcoming elections and the police are active throughout the country. The police won’t allow anyone to disrupt the peace during the election and would remain steadfast in their duty, Shifan said.