Malé, Maldives (CU)_ Former Maldivian president and current parliamentary speaker Mohamed Nasheed sustained injuries in a blast outside his family home on Thursday evening (6 May).
“Nasheed escaped an assassination attempt. He is injured but his condition is stable,” a statement issued by the Maldivian government read.
He is currently being treated at the ADK Hospital in the capital city of Male, after narrowly escaping what is suspected to have been an attempt to assassinate the island nation’s first democratically elected president. Current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a close associate of Nasheed, said that an investigation has been launched into the explosion which took place as Nasheed was getting into his car.
“It looks like some sort of an improvised explosive device, possibly rigged up to a parked motorcycle,” an official from his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) told AFP by telephone
“Cowardly attacks like these have no place in our society. My thoughts and prayers are with President Nasheed and others injured in this attack, as well as their families,” Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said in a statement issued on Twitter.
In 2008, Nasheed became the first democratically-elected president of Maldives, a role in which he served until he was ousted from office in a coup in 2012. Subsequently, the pro-democracy fighter was convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to 13 years in prison, although rights groups claimed that the move was politically motivated.
However, after being granted leave from prison for medical treatment, Nasheed went into self-imposed exile in the UK. He returned to his home country in 2018, and was elected as the speaker of parliament a year later, after his party claimed a landslide victory in the elections in April 2019.
Meanwhile, India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said on Twitter that he is “deeply concerned” over the attack on the parliamentary speaker of Maldives. “Wish him a speedy recovery. Know that he will never be intimidated,” he said.