PPM slapped with a fine of MVR 75,000

Police arresting a female protester from “Where’s my flat?” protest carried out in Malé City by the opposition PPM and PNC coalition | Photo: Dhiyares

Malé, Maldives – Elections Commission of Maldives has revealed that Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has been fined by MVR 75,000 for violating Political Parties Act (4/2013).

In a tweet posted by President of Election Commissions, Ahmed Shareed (EC Shareef), he stated that PPM had been fined after rejecting its justification for the protests being carried out by the party in Malé City against the Health Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines.

Elections Commission had fined PPM/ PNC coalition by MVR 75,000 in August 2020 for the same reason and most recently Maldives Police Service had fined both parties with MVR 25,000 each for violating HPA guidelines set out to curb the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country.

These protests comes after a series of rallies led by the opposition by taking to the streets of Male’ of which, the latest was in protest of the recently published list of “Hiyaa” flat winners.

The protests were initiated with the 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. Many protesters and police officers have suffered several injuries during clashes which have occurred during these demonstrations.

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.

Head of Malé City Police, Chief Superintendent of Police Abdullah Shareef has previously stated at a Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) press conference, that legal action would be taken against any further protests in the capital city. He added that the opposition has been advised against these protests multiple times and that further protests would be considered as an obstruction to justice.

However, Former Chief Justice of the Maldives Dr. Ahmed Abdullah Didi has said that legal action cannot be taken against the opposition for protesting, replying to statements from Maldives Police Service saying that protests are not allowed.

The opposition has continued to protest in Male’ by violating several guidelines released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While most protesters do wear masks, social distancing is not followed, which is very alarming as Covid cases in Maldives are at an all time high.