Opposition takes to the streets of Malé City

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) coalition protesters seen in February 12, 2021 protest | Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives – Opposition coalition consisting of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) have taken to the streets of Male’ again to protest the recently published list of “Hiyaa” flat winners.

Opposition started their protest in front of PPM office in Malé City, disregarding the HPA guideline of maximum 10 people to gather at one location at once.

The Opposition has stated that with these protests, they aim to bring justice to people who have lost or did not receive their apartments after ‘Hiyaa’ Public Housing Scheme was released on the 10th of February.

This also comes after the governments decision to remove the categories which were to be given one room flats from Hiyaa Project stating that there aren’t enough one room flats available. 

While the Hiyaa’ Public Housing Scheme project was initiated by the former President of Maldives, Yameen Abdul Gayyoom during his presidency, a statement released by the Housing Ministry today informed that they have decided to eliminate the one room flats category of Hiyaa Project after deciding to purchase some of the flats from the Hulhumale’ Phase 2 tower currently being built by the government companies. 

The Ministry informed that the flats currently for sale are only the 36 flats MWSC allocated especially for the government. Ministry noted that these flats will only be given to the special needs people and their families in H14 category. The remaining flats are being planned to give to the citizens of Male’ city under a special H12 category. 

In addition to this, the statement released by the Ministry noted that there are no more flats available for purchase from the one room towers the government had decided to built. This is why, Ministry has stated that they have decided to eliminate three categories that involve the one flat rooms.

While Opposition leaders are attending these protests, there have also been calls to transfer the currently jailed Former President Abdhulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to house arrest.

After the the final list for Hiyaa flat winners was released, numerous members of the public have questioned the flat committees’ point system- which prompted a news conference yesterday where the President of the Flat Committee Thoha Mohamed said that many people who deserved the housing units were not selected due to shortage in apartment units

The PPM and PNC coalition decided to keep protesting and take action following a recent decision of the High Court, to uphold an earlier sentence by the Criminal Court’s which has led to Former President Yameen continue his 5 year money laundering sentence in Maafushi Prison.

While a small number of number of people are taking part in these protests, the participants are constantly calling out to free Former President Yameen and to stop ‘torturing’ him. Among other unsound demands, some protesters have called for the arrest if President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.