The chairperson of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Fayyaz Ismail, has expressed deep concern over the government’s actions to obstruct the inaugural congress of the People’s National Front (PNF).

In a post on social media, Ismail criticised the current government’s pressure on the Elections Commission, private schools, and the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to disrupt and stop the formation of the PNF, led by Zeine Abdulla Yameen, the son of former President Abdulla Yameen.

“We fear that this will be the modus operandi of this inept government going forwards,” Ismail wrote. “[President] Dr. Muizzu should not be afraid to allow the formations of political rivals. Please do not derail the Constitution and the laws.”

The inaugural congress of PNF was slated to be held at Ghiyasuddin International School (GIS), a privately run institution, at 10 p.m. However, police shuttered the gate of the school, obstructing officials and supporters from entering the premises to join the congress.

This obstruction led PNF supporters to allege that police are obstructing the meeting under orders from President Mohamed Muizzu, leading to calls for his resignation.

Despite the police cordon, some supporters managed to enter the school premises, resulting in police using force to stop them. Police spokesperson Ahmed Shifan stated that they had acted to stop an unauthorised gathering near the school, in an attempt to protect the school, following a request made by the Education Ministry.

Earlier, Zeine Abdulla Yameen claimed that police were trying to obstruct the inaugural congress of PNF. The statements made by the police were refuted by Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, a senior official in efforts to establish PNF, who stated that Ghiyasuddin School had given permission to PNF to use the school hall to hold the congress.