PPM-PNC presidential candidate Dr. Muizz speaking during a press conference held by the leadership of the two parties. Dhauru File Photo/ Hussain Sunain

Muizz campaign hits out at MDP over 'extremist' Adhaalath link

Muaz said such talk is being made about Muizz because he is the most feared candidate by President Solih.

18 August 2023

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

The PPM-PNC campaign team on Thursday condemned the allegations made against their presidential candidate, Dr Mohamed Muizz by the campaign team of President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih, saying Muizz is a candidate of the religious conservative group Salaf.

Muizz's campaign spokesman and PPM secretary general Mohamed Tholal said the MDP is an "oppressive" party and the Adhaalath Party, which has allied with Solih for a second term, has hardline religious policies.

Presidential campaign spokesperson, defence minister Mariya Ahmed Didi described Muizz as a "Salaf candidate of the PNC". When questioned for response by Atoll Times on Thursday, Tholal responded to Mariya's remarks.

Tholal said there is no harm in referring to Muizz as Salafi. He also launched verbal attacks on the religious scholars of Adhaalath party.

"Ibrahim Mohammed Solih is out on behalf of the MDP. He is an MDP candidate. The party is extremely violent. Isn't it worse?" Tholal replied.

"Then [President Solih] was endorsed by the Adhaalath Party. The party has extreme religious policies. They interpret religion in the way that benefits them”.

Tholal accused the leaders of Adhaalath of "misreading the hadith of the prophet". He said they are still trying to gain support despite how they act.

"Then so many people come and link it to the relationship we have with the religious leaders. We don't understand the purpose of the criticism. There is no harm in it," Tholal said.

Tholal added that Muizz's PPM-PNC government will not exclude any citizen as it will a government for all the people, he said.

"Religious scholars are very important people. This government does not give due attention to religious scholars. They are very marginalised and given a lot of humiliation," Tholal said.

In addition to religious scholars, scholars who have studied other disciplines will also be given priority in the Muizz government, he said.

"Accordingly, whether it is Salaf or any other organisation, it will work with them. That does not mean that [Muizz] is a Salaf candidate. Dr Muizz has come out as a PPM-PNC candidate " Tholal said.

"We will not discriminate or exclude any particular group. Besides, they will not be excluded on the basis of political differences.

'Government is engaged in direct anti-campaign'

After Tholal's interview with Atoll Times, Muizz's assistant campaign manager and former Madaveli MP Muaz Rasheed also expressed his dissatisfaction with Mariya's remarks at the press conference held at the PPM-PNC office on Thursday.

"The government is engaged in direct anti-campaign. We strongly condemn this. We ask the government to continue the government campaign and promote the government candidate," Muaz told a press conference attended by Tholal.

Muaz said such talk is being made about Muizz because he is the most feared candidate by President Solih.

“The reason is that, in the absence of support for the government, the President that the people of Maldives want to elect at the moment is Dr Muizz,” Muaz said.

"That's why, the government is making such attacks on Muizz”.