Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has accused the current government of reverting to authoritarian practices. This accusation follows the recent police summons of Fayyaz Ismail, chairperson of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), in connection with a corruption investigation. 

Solih, serving as a special advisor to the MDP, voiced his concerns via a post on X, suggesting that these actions signal the onset of a “bitter cycle of tyranny.” His comments underscore a growing unease within opposition ranks regarding the recent statements from senior government officials. 

Echoing the sentiments of Fayyaz, who denounced the allegations against him as “the beginning of a cycle of baseless political allegations,” Solih warned of a revival of past oppressions. “The start of summoning opposition leaders to the police headquarters without any basis revives the bitter cycle of tyranny and infringement of the constitution we experienced before,” he remarked, adding, “You can serve the people without being tyrannical.”

Despite these developments, Solih did not hold back in his criticism of President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, accusing him of fostering a climate of political vengeance. At a campaign rally on Wednesday, Solih painted a grim picture of the administration’s direction, likening it to “a boat that is sailing backwards at high speed” and accusing it of dragging the country 20 years into the past.

Solih’s critique extends beyond the summoning of opposition figures to broader concerns about the suppression of press freedoms, the coercion of government employees into political campaigning, and the encroachment on democratic liberties. “They are threatening people with job security. They are forcing employees to campaign for the government and get involved in the government’s campaign events,” Solih claimed.

The former president also highlighted what he perceives as a systematic assault on the country’s democratic institutions, suggesting that the administration’s actions could eventually target even more foundational pillars of the state, including judges and the police commissioner. “This isn’t stopping here. It will reach judges. They will even arrest the police commissioner. They will grab hold of independent institutions,” he cautioned.