Allied opposition says Yameen Administration should not talk about multi-party dialogue without releasing political prisoners.
This comes after the President’s Office sent a letter inviting former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and opposition parties for talks.
In a statement released on Monday, allied opposition said, despite government’s claim of wanting to hold multi-party talks, there is no sincerity from the government. In that regard, the statement highlighted that government has “unlawfully” arrested, tried and jailed opposition leaders and MPs on baseless accusations.
“Anyone who opposes government’s views is being subjected to cruelty. (Government) is exerting undue influence on the Prosecutor General, judges and independent institutions. After hijacking the parliament by using the defence force, the institution has been stripped of its true purpose.”
The opposition further stated that government has seized constitutionally guaranteed rights, including all basic rights, put an end to peaceful political activities, and is continuously working to annihilate the role of political parties. It accused government of withholding political party funds against the law, and president Abdulla Yameen of corruption and having no intention of investigating and taking action against major crimes.
They also accused the President of plunging the country’s economy into vulnerability by haphazardly selling islands and lagoons, and selling the country’s foreign policy without thinking about the security of the Indian Ocean.
If government has good intentions, these issues can be fixed immediately, without discussing with political parties, the statement read.
Noting that the government has already, several times, demonstrated its lack of sincerity by failing multi-party talks, the opposition indicated that the invitation for dialogue is a ploy to deceive foreign parties in a bid to overcome the financial woes government is facing.
Parliament had approved a budget for the government to fulfil its pledges, but what happened to the budget is unclear, it said.
“Therefore (we) urge President Yameen to, instead of making multi-party dialogue a show for the various foreign parties to overcome government’s financial difficulties, release political prisoners immediately to show sincerity towards fixing issues in the country. And (we) call on the Yameen Administration to talk about political-party dialogue after that.”