Gasim has 'thrown in the towel', claims Maldives ruling party

Opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim has "thrown in the towel" from the opposition efforts against the government, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla claimed Saturday.

The business tycoon has faced the brunt of the government crackdown on the opposition in the wake of the Supreme Court order to immediately release all jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

As the state of emergency expired, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.

Since emergency state was declared police have made a series of high profile arrests including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, two lawmakers, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator.

Gasim's eldest son Ibrahim Siyad Gasim in the alleged Supreme Court led attempt to overthrow the government.

Maldives military and police raided opposition the business tycoon's Villa Group building in the capital Male while security forces had also searched Paradise Island Resort under the company's umbrella.

Gasim's eldest son had been managing the business empire after his father invested more time in politics.

Fonadhoo lawmaker Raheem told reporters on Saturday that Gasim now believes that the other opposition leaders are trying to "destroy" him.

"I [Gasim] have been ruined. My children and business have been ruined. I have nothing to gain. My party won't even get the presidential ticket. We've received word that Gasim had spoken in that manner," the outspoken lawmaker claimed.

Gasim was convicted of bribery in August last year months after he inked a landmark pact with former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Mohamed Nasheed and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla to work against the government.

The business tycoon was granted medical leave to travel to Singapore where he had undergone a minor heart surgery in September before travelling to Germany.

Despite his leave expiring in late September, the former lawmaker had not returned claiming that no airline would allow him on board an air craft due to his ailing condition.