HDC says supermarket chain violated agreement as lawmaker owner cries foul

Local supermarket chain 'Redwave' had violated the agreement to operate an outlet in the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale and had been given until November 9 to meet the conditions of the agreement, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) said Friday.

HDC Managing Director Mohamed Saiman told Avas that under the agreement 'Redwave' was required to open a supermarket and a cafe within six months of signing the agreement entered last December.

However, as the deadline expired on June 16 this year, the supermarket chain had failed to open the cafe, Saiman said.

According to Saiman, HDC had sent several reminders before finally being forced to send the notice of annulment of the agreement.

"Even after the deadline elapsed they hadn't opened the cafe. We made several calls to them. Exchanged several letters reminding them of the clause in the agreement. Now we've given them until November 9 to open the cafe. If they fail to do so, we will be forced to act in accordance with the agreement," Saiman explained.

Avas was unable to obtain a comment from the supermarket chain owner and lawmaker Ahmed Saleem.

However, Saleem was quoted by several local media outlets having accused the government of attempting to put his business under pressure due to his political affiliations.

Saleem who has taken sides with ousted ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the split has been critical of the government and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Saleem had said the agreement stipulates that his company open the cafe before November 12 which he vowed to do before the deadline.

The two Gayooms has been locked in an ugly power struggle for ruling party control which has divided the party in two.

A court order -- backed by the appellate courts had handed control president Yameen of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in capacity of the chief advisor -- a post granted to the successful presidential candidate.

The elder Gayoom has since intensified a push to rally support to his faction and has successfully managed to even further isolate the government from key political opponents.