Former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom dismissed claims of extremism within the coalition government as a false and politically motivated narrative pushed by politicians who wish to come to power.
In an interview to RaajjeTV on occasion of the 56th anniversary of Maldives independence on Monday, Maumoon, leader of coalition partner MRM, said he does not believe there’s involvement of any extremist element within the current government. He said he rejects the claim the government is trapped under the claws of extremist elements.
Maumoon said such claims are politically motivated narratives pushed by politicians who wish to come to power.
“Such is political rivalry; those who support the government will say good things about the government, and those who do not support the government, those who wish to come to power, will interpret everything as such,” he said.
“The government is like this, right? So, they come up with whatever lie they can and push whatever narrative they can. This is one such narrative.”
Maumoon’s comments come after leader of main ruling party MDP, former President Mohamed Nasheed recently accused President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of pandering to extremists, and announced he can no longer remain politically allied to him.
“TITLE OF HATE CRIME BILL IS PLEASING, BUT IT CANNOT BE IMPLEMENTED IN MALDIVES’
One of the key points of contention that led to the current rifts within MDP is the bill to amend the Penal Code to criminalize acts of hate.
Addressed the contentious bill in his interview, Maumoon said that while the title of the bill is pleasing to the eye, the bill cannot be implemented in an Islamic community.
“The title is pleasing; criminalizing acts of hate. Very pleasing indeed. Makes perfect sense. But when we look at all the clauses of the bill, it cannot be implemented in an Islamic country such as ours,” he said.
Maumoon said that penalizing people who speak out against people who act in violation of Islam from within the criminal justice system does not make sense in an Islamic country. He said he does not support the bill.