Maldives president alleges his predecessor operated on orders from ‘foreign ambassador’

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu did not name any country or diplomat

March 29, 2024 04:56 pm | Updated 04:56 pm IST - Male

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu | Photo Credit: AP

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has alleged that his predecessor, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, operated on orders from “a foreign ambassador.”

Mr. Muizzu, however, neither named any country nor any diplomat. The president made the allegation when he was asked about criticism from the opposition regarding the recent procurement of military drones during an interview with the Public Service Media (PSM). The interview was aired on Thursday night local time.

Parliamentary elections coming up

Ahead of the parliamentary elections, the main opposition, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has scaled up the attacks on Mr. Muizzu on various issues.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that Maldives has, for the first time, acquired surveillance drones from Turkey for patrolling its vast exclusive economic zone and efforts have begun by the state to establish a drone base in Noonu Atoll Maafaru to operate the military drones.

Responding to the question about criticism about drones, President Muizzu noted that the main opposition MDP, when it held office from 2018-2023, also held a supermajority in the Parliament.

“However, the party failed to protect Maldives’ independence, leaving it in the hands of a foreign country,” Mr. Muizzu was quoted as saying by Sun.mv, a news portal.

Mr. Muizzu further said that President Solih “had operated on orders from a foreign ambassador, which resulted in extensive damage,” according to the news portal.

However, he did not specify which foreign country he was referring to, it said. “We had lost independence in all senses of the word, including economically. After having done all this, they would naturally not accept our efforts to remedy all this and put the country on a track that the Maldivian people want, towards a ‘Dhiveheenge Raajje’,” he said.

Dhivehi Raajje in Dhivehi, the language of the people of Maldives, means ‘Kingdom of the Dhivehi people.’

Maldives - India - China

On March 4, Mr. Muizzu announced that his country is working to establish a 24/7 monitoring system for the Maldivian waters this month to ensure control of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) despite its significantly large area. Regarding the cost of the drones, President Muizzu said that while he believes in transparency, such military secrets aren’t disclosed by any country.

“In such matters that are crucial to national security, I am heavily reliant on counsel from our chief of defence force and our generals. Therefore, I will follow their counsel, and I will listen to them,” he said.

The president also said that no value can be attached to the independence of Maldives, and that it is in fact “priceless.”

The People’s National Congress (PNC) administration accuses the former administration of getting overly dependent on India, while the MDP accuses the incumbent administration of ruining age-old ties with India and fostering closer ties with China, Sun.mv said.

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