Home Minister’s ‘blatant lie’ about Democrats angers party leader

Democrats' president Hassan Latheef speaks to the press on October 22, 2023. (Sun Photo/Maahil Athif)

Hassan Latheef, the president of Democrats, expressed displeasure on Tuesday, accusing Home Minister Ali Ihusan of spreading “baseless” claims about the party.

Earlier this week, Leela Ibrahim Manik, the Democrats’ candidate for the Guraidhoo parliamentary seat, dropped out of the race and endorsed Hannan Mohamed Rasheed, the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)’s candidate for the seat. Welcoming the decision in a campaign event in Guraidhoo on Sunday, Ihusan said that Democrats had also backed the PNC in the 2023 presidential runoff election.

Voicing displeasure over the comment, Hassan, the parliamentary representative for West Henveiru, told Sun on Tuesday that Democrats had decided via a resolution that they would not back any party in the runoff.

He said that Ihusan had blatantly twisted the facts regarding the situation.

“With our Guraidhoo candidate by his side, Ihusan said that the Democrats had previously also made such decisions in similar situations in the past. That we also decided to endorse [President Dr. Mohamed] Muizzu,” he said.

“This is a blatant lie. We decided via a resolution that we would not support any party in the election runoff.”

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu and The Democrats' leader Hassan Latheef. (Photo/President's Office)

Hassan alleges that Ihusan has a history of misleading the public regarding various matters.

He said that such behavior is unbefitting of a person serving such an important post.

“I, as the president of the Democrats, find it deeply concerning that a person who behaves in this manner is serving as the home minister,” he said.

Addressing Sunday’s campaign rally, Ihusan praised the Democrats for what he called “constructive politics.” He also claimed the party backed President Muizzu in the presidential elections last year.

Another Democrats’ candidate, Fathimath Zilma, also recently dropped out of the race and endorsed the independent candidate for the Thimarafushi seat – Ahmed Riyaz. Top government officials, including cabinet ministers, have promoted Riyaz as the “government’s candidate”, despite the fact that someone else won the PNC primary in the constituency.

Democrats have now withdrawn their support for both Leela and Zilma.