The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has voiced its concern over the recent surge in violent crime across the country, attributing the increase to the current administration’s failure to appoint a Commissioner of Police.

In a statement released Monday, the MDP expressed deep concern over the increase in crime and violence in various parts of the country and criticised the government for its failure to ensure the safety of its citizens, both at home and in public spaces. The party linked the rise in crime to the vacant position of the Commissioner of Police.

“The absence of a police commissioner is preventing the police from fulfilling their duties. The party urges the administration to expedite the appointment process through the Police Board,” the statement said.

The MDP has been advocating for a ‘dignified’ life for all Maldivians, the statement said, adding that the sanctity of homes must be guaranteed to every citizen and everyone should enjoy a worry-free life under the protection of a safe country.

Recalling the first administration of the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) under President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the statement said that, during that administration, the roads were unsafe and homes were not secure sanctuaries.

The party noted that crime rates had reached a 15-year low in the past five years, attributing this achievement to the concerted efforts of various institutions prioritising safety and security. “The party calls on the administration of Dr Mohamed Muizzu to ensure the safety of the people and establish a society where they can live without fear,” the MDP statement said.

The MDP’s statement comes in the wake of a rash of gang violence in Malé and Addu over the past week.