Transparency: Candidates have right to campaign, threats unacceptable

Officials from Transparency Maldives visit President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (C). (Photo/President's Office)

Threats to limit the right of candidates to campaign is unconstitutional and unacceptable, says Transparency Maldives, after the chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) warned that opposition parties will not be allowed to campaign if they hinder the ruling party’s campaign activities.

MDP’s chairperson Fayyaz Ismail had made the remark during a campaign rally in Fuvahmulah City on Sunday.

Addressing the rally, Fayyaz, who also serves as the country’s economic minister, said that while President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih may be benevolent, others at the MDP were not.

In a post on Monday on Twitter, now rebranded ‘X’, Transparency Maldives said that all candidates have a constitutional right to campaign without restrictions.

“Threats to limit the right of candidates to campaign is unconstitutional & unacceptable!” warned the organization.

Transparency Maldives called on all relevant institutions, including the government, the parliament and the elections commission, to ensure the rights of all candidates to campaign and garner support on a level playing field.

Fayyaz’s comments had come after anti-government protesters had tried to obstruct the rally. It led to clashes between protestors and the police, during which protesters threw stones at the police, and a group of protesters stormed a nearby café and destroyed private property.

Referring to that, Fayyaz warned that the MDP will retaliate in kind if the opposition obstructs the party’s campaign.