Maldives' home ministry will no longer oversee police service: Report

In what appears to be a significant political development, the Maldives Police Service has been removed from the oversight of the country's home ministry, showed a leaked order from the Office of the President reported by Sun news

Oct 19, 2021
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Maldives' home ministry will no longer oversee police service

In what appears to be a significant political development, the Maldives Police Service has been removed from the oversight of the country's home ministry, showed a leaked order from the Office of the President reported by Sun news. The alleged letter, dated 14 October and addressed to Home Minister Imran Abdulla, was issued by the Chief of Staff of the President’s Office, stating that Maldives Police Service had removed home ministry’s oversight.

The move came after the months-long tensions among different factions of the main ruling party, the MDP. The faction led by former president Mohammed Nasheed has long been accusing Home Minister Imran Abdullah-- who comes from a religious party, also part of the ruling coalition--of sympathizing with extremists and fundamentalists. 

Nasheed, who escaped an assassination attempt in May this year, had also criticised the ministry, alleging police conducted a less than transparent inquiry into the case-- a claim rejected by Abdullah.  

Citing the newly enacted Police Service Act, the letter said that the existing arrangement where the operations of Maldives Police Service is overseen by the home ministry has now ended. It also added that the ministry’s fresh responsibilities would be communicated soon. 

The government hasn’t yet confirmed or denied the existence of such a letter. Interestingly, the home ministry’s name was also removed on Tuesday from the official website of the President’s Office. 

One of the reasons behind the strained ties between the top two leaders of the ruling MDP--President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih and Nasheed--was the continuation of Imran Abdullah as the home minister. Naturally, the recent development comes at a time when Solih has been trying to repair his ties with Nasheed. 

Earlier this year, during the national day address, President Solih had termed fighting extremism--considered by many as an existential threat to the archipelago--as one of his key priorities. For many, Home Minister Abdullah, who has often been seen taking favor of fundamentalists, is unfit for the role. 

(SAM)