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Maldives Opposition Leader Gasim Ibrahim warns President Nasheed to stop destroying the country

Male' Maldives.

Maldives Jumhooree (Republican) Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim has warned President Nasheed that he would not stand aside and watch him destroy the country.

'We will not stand aside and allow you to destroy our nation. Do not even think that you can do it", said Gasim, one of the most respected businessmen and philanthropist in the country with a strong populist following amongst the citizenry. Gasim Ibrahim was also the Speaker of the last Constitutional Assembly which passed the current Constitution of the Maldives.

Pulling in his financial and follower base, Gasim almost single handedly brought in over 60,000 votes which carried Nasheed into power in the second round of the Presidential elections, 2008. Gasim resigned from his post as Nasheed's Home Minister, claiming divergent political views between himself and Nasheed.

Speaking on a political analysis program (Fasmanzaru) on independent TV channel VTV, Gasim noted that President Nasheed has systematically tried to destroy the justice system in the country. The MP for Northern Alif Atoll, Gasim called Nasheed's actions against the justice system, "the actions of uncivilized, incompetent, uneducated, jungle animals".

"Nasheed and his followers have systematically tried to discredit the justice system. They have tried to intimidate and discredit judges. We, the whole Maldivian citizenry, have seen very clearly from close range their actions to destroy the judicial system. These are not actions of people in a democracy, or of those who act within Islam or in justice. These are the actions of uncivilized, incompetent, uneducated, jungle animals", Gasim said.

"Enough is enough", said the popular philanthropist. Gasim said that he would not be stopped by threats or personal attacks or confiscation of property by Nasheed.

"I am not afraid. I am not deterred by any few that my property may be confiscated or any other attack. We have had more than enough. Enough is enough. Sale of national assets, crushing of the judicial system, using the Maldives Police Force and Military in any which way, ... even if he thinks he can do these things any longer, he cannot. We will not allow it. Maldivians are awake and watching. [President Nasheed], you will not get that opportunity [again]", stated the opposition leader, in emphatic terms.

Gasim Ibrahim stated that President Nasheed has bankrupted the Maldives and sold off its national assets. "After the 2011 budget, there will be no more Maldives. Maldivians will be in a state of abject poverty", he said.

Gasim's strong condemnation of President Nasheed comes after a number of months of silence in the political arena. Arbitrarily detained and kept under hardship by Nasheed in June 2010, on trumped up charges of bribery of MPs, Gasim Ibrahim was released under court order and due to pressure from his huge populist following. Nasheed's strong arm arrest of Gasim and PA Leader Abdulla Yaameen came amidst rumors of the tabling of a Vote of No Confidence against President Nasheed in Parliament (People's Majlis). It was reported at the time that Gasim could leverage an additional 11 votes required for the No Confidence Vote to be passed in parliament.

Earlier this year, Gasim Ibrahim apologized publicly to the Maldivian people for his crucial role in bringing Nasheed to power. Although Gasim Ibrahim has shown alliance with other opposition leaders, he has very carefully stayed away from ex-President Gayoom and his newly established Progressive Party of Maldives. Although PPM has claimed support by Jumhooree Party, it is to be noted that Gasim Ibrahim has not publicly welcomed the new party, nor taken part on its functions.

Gasim's statements last night were made on a program in which he shared the limelight with PPM, Gaumee (National) Party and Adhaalath Party.

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