Fayyaz Ismail, chairperson of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has accused Homeland Security Minister Ali Ihusaan of orchestrating a convoluted scheme to implicate him in an ongoing investigation involving the Road Development Corporation (RDC). “This is done under the direction of President Mohamed Muizzu,” said Ismail, speaking to reporters outside Sergeant Adam Haleem Criminal Investigation Building after attending the police summons on Thursday.

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) is investigating allegations of misappropriation of RDC funds. MDP views the summoning of its leader for questioning as a calculated move to suppress political opposition and fears a broader clampdown ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Ismail, a vocal critic of the government’s alleged misuse of state resources, was summoned for questioning in the RDC corruption investigation amid heightened campaigning ahead of the parliamentary elections set for 21 April. He vehemently denies any connection to the alleged RDC corruption, asserting that the details in question were publicly disclosed long ago. The police did not explicitly link Ismail to the corruption investigation, his legal representative, Mahfooz Saeed, clarified.

“[The case] bears no relevance to me whatsoever,” Ismail stated. “[Minister] Ihusaan is attempting to link me to this case under President Muizzu’s directive. However, the details surrounding the transactions in question have long been publicly disclosed. Despite this, they are magnifying the issue and attempting to tarnish my reputation.”

“The sole purpose appears to be instilling fear, but I assure you that fear-mongering does not deter me. Their efforts aim to sow apprehension among the public,” stated Ismail.

The RDC case remains under investigation by both the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the police. Ismail’s summons is a significant development, marking the first time a political leader has been called in for questioning since the Muizzu administration took office in November 2023.