Maldives presidential election: Muizzu's ties to Salaf movement could be a liability

  • Maldives
  • Politics
PUBLISHED 02 September 2023

Fayyaz Ismail, chairman of the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) and minister of economic development, has accused the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential candidate Mohammed Muizzu of being linked to extremist coalitions and criminal networks.

Fayyaz made the remarks at the launch of the MDP's manifesto for the upcoming presidential election, which was held in the Kanivara area of Male yesterday. He said that he did not want to see the youth, women, and daughters of the Maldives isolated from society, and that he feared that Muizzu's election would lead to a situation similar to that in Afghanistan.

"Our candidate is not a PPM candidate," Ismail said. "He is a candidate who is connected to the extremist parties in the country and not to mention the criminal networks in the country. This should be talked about."

Fayyaz was referring to the Salaf movement, which the MDP has described as an extremist organization. Muizzu has close ties to senior members of the Salaf, and his campaign is also linked to the Salaf Jamiyya, a Salafi organization that has been accused of promoting violence.

The Salaf has denied the allegations made by the MDP, and Muizzu has said that he is not affiliated with any extremist groups. However, Ismail's accusations have raised concerns about Muizzu's candidacy, and they could have a significant impact on the outcome of the election.