K. Male'
09 Sep 2018 | Sun 15:40
An aerial photo from the joint opposition\'s mass rally on September 8.
An aerial photo from the joint opposition's mass rally on September 8.
2018 Presidential Elections
Has the Maldives president seen the big picture yet?
Maldives' presidential elections are to be held on September 23
This is the first time the opposition has been able to hold a rally in the capital, since 2015
Thousands of opposition supporters attended the rally in the capital on Saturday night

On Saturday, the Maldives’ opposition was allowed to hold a rally in the capital city; for the first time in three years.

Thousands attended the gathering, and aerial images show that the entire Alimas Carnival was fully packed even before it began. Seats were filled up, and most people had to stand up for the entire duration. Police had to close the roads to the carnival due to the amount of people in attendance.

Prior to Saturday night, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) officials and members were saying that the reason opposition has been unable to hold a rally ‘is not because they have not been allowed to, but because no one will attend’.

On Saturday this was proven wrong. So, they changed their story.

Aerial photos of PPM (L), Joint Opposition rallies (R)

When comparisons began to the rally held by PPM the previous night, they began claiming that those in attendance at their rally were just from Male’ City but that the opposition had brought in people from the outlying islands.

First of all, what is wrong with the people from the islands coming to the capital to attend a rally? Is this not their country too? Are they any less relevant?

At least they attended the rally on their own will, not because of fear.

Then there are some that are calling for a fair comparison, saying that Yameen is against four of some of the most prominent figures in the country; all jailed since he assumed power.

But, shouldn’t we question why we he is alone when he came into power with the support of three of these figures who have since joined the opposition movement. And by the looks of it, he has also lost his biggest ally, the only one who had stuck by his side through thick and thin, leader of MDA Ahmed Siyam, as well.

Why aren’t we questioning why a person is accused of something, charged and convicted as soon as they take a stand against Yameen’s tyranny, but the accusations against Yameen remain uninvestigated?

Why does Yameen not have to take any responsibility for the millions stolen from the state in the biggest corruption scandal the country has seen, even after he admitted that USD one million was deposited to his account by the company implicated? What about the confession that he did not received police reports for months while Adeeb was VP.

Shouldn’t a country’s leader be more responsible than this? Be more on top of things? Instead of pinning blame on someone else every time something is revealed?

And how are they saying that there are no political prisoners in the Maldives, when the president himself has admitted to ensuring the former President Mohamed Nasheed and Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim are not able to contest in the election?

And why is it that when a country expresses concern over deteriorating conditions here, they are accused of working to spread other religions here? Is Yameen synonymous with Islam?

These are just some of the questions that remain unanswered, and will most likely remain unanswered till September 23.

Yameen’s regime and supporters can keep claiming that the opposition has no support, but the facts cannot be ignored.

Who remembers what happened in May 2017?

The Local Council Elections.

The opposition took over 300 of the 664 seats while PPM got only 191, despite the ruling party doing everything in their power to secure wins, including delaying the council elections through the courts. It was initially scheduled for January 2017.

Voter turnout: 66 percent of 255,987 eligible voters.

Last updated at: 6 months ago
Reviewed by: Humaam Ali