Joint Opposition’s spokesperson and Galolhu-South MP, Ahmed Mahloof, says former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is being kept under “house arrest”.
He made the statement after Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) stepped up security around the former president’s residence, M. Endherimaage, claiming his life is in danger. Military personnel are checking and obtaining information from everyone who is going in and out of the residence. However, they are yet to share any details.
Mahloof, who is currently abroad, said in an interview to VNews on Tuesday that MNDF suddenly increased security around the residence without clarifying any details to those living there.
“Suddenly, through a letter (MNDF) are saying that they are taking over the residence’s security for President Maumoon’s safety. But, people living in the residence have no idea that anything happened. That is why I’m saying that President Maumoon is under house arrest.”
Mahloof further said that the move is aimed at prevent leading government officials and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) members who are working in the islands from meeting Gayoom. But, arrangements will be made to allow such meetings to take place, Mahloof said, adding that Gayoom would know what to do.
Another reason to keep Gayoom “under house arrest”, according to Mahloof, is to prevent opposition’s discussions regarding this year’s presidential election. Noting that the opposition is holding successful discussions, the MP said that if Gayoom wishes to take part in the discussions, there is no way that it can be prevented.
The heightened security measures around Gayoom’s residence come after more than a year since his security was limited following his withdrawal of support for the government.