Sexual harassment aligned with MDP principles, PNC questions

PNC campaign spokesperson Heena Waleed --

Ruling PNC questions if sexual harassment was among core principles of main opposition MDP.

PNC's campaign spokesperson Heena Waleed on Thursday, at a press conference, questioned former Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed received MDP's endorsement to contend in the upcoming parliamentary elections despite multiple sexual harassment allegations.

The embattled former minister announced he is contending for South-Kulhudhuffushi constituency.

At the press conference, Heena gave a detailed exposition of the alleged sexual harassment case of Waheed. She highlighted the case came to light amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, while the victims had sought legal remedies through the then Ministry of Gender.

Heena also took a jab that while the former President reportedly broke into tears after hearing Waheed's alleged sexual misconduct, the minister was still able to flee abroad evading the law.

"I believe the previous government was complicit to Waheed's misdeeds and helped him flee the country," Heena accused the former administration.

 The PNC campaign spokesperson further said the previous administration put up masqueraded efforts, claiming it tried and failed to repatriate Waheed back to the Maldives.

On the other hand, there were claims Waheed possessed sensitive information about the then government, which could compromise its senior officals - which was another alleged reason why no strong efforts were made by the former administration to repatriate the former minister.

However, former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih would eventually show his support for Waheed, while the witnesses who initially stepped forward had all withdrawn their statements.

"I would like to question if Waheed truly possessed sensitive information that could compromise MDP's leadership or is sexual harassment a core principle of the party," Heena asked.

She further urged the Prosecutor General should reopen the case for investigation.

During the Q&A session with the media, a local reporter highlighted that a close aide of Waheed who also faced sexual misconduct allegations is currently serving a top government position.

The reporter questioned Heena if any action would be taken against the said individual, to which Heena responded the current administration is deeply concerned about sexual harassment and such cases should be probed by the PG.

While Waheed has been campaigning strongly ahead of the parliamentary elections, the statements of his alleged victims were recently leaked online.