President: Speaker Nasheed knows I would not impede inquiry into terror attack

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L) and Speaker of the Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed (R). Nasheed is the leader of the governing MDP, while President Solih is his long-time friend and close ally. (Sun Photo/Muzayyin Nazim)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has spoken out against distorting the reality behind the May 6 terrorist attack on Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed and stated his belief that now was not the time for a political fight over matters. 

The President's statement comes after his close friend and ally Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed criticized the statement by the Defense Ministry which stated that individual officers of the army cannot be summoned for a parliament inquiry into the bombing targeting Nasheed. Speaker Nasheed is the leader of the governing MDP, while President Solih is his long-time friend and ally.  

The issue over the statement of the Defense Ministry, which requested to answer to the Parliament as an institution rather than individual officers, was forwarded to the Parliament's Committee on Ethics, which was outright rejected by the lawmakers of the Committee including MDP members. 

The rejection caused further friction within the governing MDP, whereby Speaker Nasheed even alleged that President Solih was hindering the inquiry and impeding it. The Speaker alleged that President Solih lobbied to impede the parliamentary inquiry, in a message to the MDP National Council Whatsapp group. 

In a press conference at the President's Office today, President Solih stated that even with the allegations, Nasheed would know very well that President Solih would never impede the inquiry. 

"President Nasheed would know that I would not impede the investigation. Even if he had said so," said the President. 

The President said that the terrorist attack on Nasheed was a dangerous and frightening attack and that matters had gone so far that the real focus of the issue had been lost. 

"This is not the time for political skirmishes. There are bigger issues in the Maldives. Bigger issues to resolve. My aim is to target these issues and move forward with everyone," said the President responding to a question by a journalist regarding the allegations. 

The President said that focus on the attack had gone astray in different directions and advised against doing so. 

"Our aim should be on doing everything we can, together, to prevent any such attacks. Who did it, who ordered it, whether there was any funding, or whether there are others with different intentions. Doing everything we can to save the nation from this. But I am seeing that the focus is being diverted towards other directions in contrast," said the President. 

President Solih also said regarding the decision of the Defense Ministry against allowing specific army officers from testifying for the inquiry, that it was a decision made accordingly with the laws surrounding the army.

The President also cited the Committee Chair of the National Security Services Committee, MP for North Hithadhoo Mohamed Aslam, who in a separate press conference held yesterday, denied that the parliamentary inquiry into the terrorist attack was being interfered by the government.