Tables turned on reinstated lawmaker over threat case probe?

Last year when former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom announced he was retracting the initial support he had for the incumbent government, the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) was thrown into throes of split between its members.

The split resulted in the majority enjoyed by the ruling party at the parliament getting weakened, and the 'dominating' faction run by the former president's half-brother and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom ruled the legitimacy stayed on their end while his elder brother and his aides were labelled as the "rogue faction."

During this period one of the most prominent voices of pro-government's (i.e. president Abdulla Yameen) movement was that of Dhangethi constituency lawmaker Ilham Ahmed.

Initially the members who swayed off to support former president Gayoom included Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem - who had since reverted back to supporting the current president - Baarah MP Ahmed Sujau, Dhihdhoo MP Abdul Latheef and Thimarafushi MP Mohamed Musthafa. The lot had also included Vilingili MP Saud as well with Dhiggaru MP and son of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Ahmed Faris Maumoon heading the defecting lawmaker group.

Ilham had on several occasions made it vivid and public his support for the government and the 'actual' ruling party's cause will never get deterred. He went as far as to threat the parliament lawmakers who were then pioneering a no-confidence motion against its Speaker Abdulla Maseeh.

On March 22, 2017 during a pro-government rally the Dhangethi MP had threatened then defected members of "getting into hot water" should they proceed with voting in favor of the no-confidence motion.

His direct albeit vague threat was seemingly shrugged off by authorities due to his then political alignment. Maldives Police had questioned the outspoken lawmaker only once regarding the incident and the case was shelved.

This was a time when opposition lawmakers were getting a rather harsh treatment compared to their pro-government aligned counterparts for public speeches. Several opposition leaders and members were doing regular rounds to the authorities to give out statements over similar warnings or threats they made publicly.

While these opposition lawmakers were under serious scrutiny and authority duress, Ilham Ahmed managed to walk away seamlessly due to his then political affiliation.

But when push came to shove and the no-confidence motion was deliberated at the parliament, the Dhangethi lawmaker was seen in the front-lines of addressing why the members saw it fit for Speaker Maseeh to step down from his responsibilities.

The lawmaker who promised unparalleled fealty to incumbent government for reasons unknown had switched loyalty to opposition and was working as a prominent figure in the anti-government movement.

Ilham Ahmed had recently flown back to homeland after living in exile for months fleeing shortly after the no-confidence motion was thrown out of parliament floor. He was arrested upon arrival and released a day after by the Criminal Court.

However he was once again incarcerated under the ongoing state of emergency and authorities had not disclosed the exact nature of his apprehension or any other details to it.

Additionally he is also charged with attempts to overthrow a legitimate government.

With mounting woes, the lawmaker was hit with another insult to injury when a probe which was initially swept under the rug due to his political affiliation has once again resurfaced.

But the tables have turned and MP Ahmed might not find the case getting 'ignored' like the last time since his stand had since changed.

Ironically a few of the lawmakers whom the Dhangethi MP had allegedly threatened of hitting "hot water" currently enjoys the 'protection' of being government affiliated; these include lawmakers Saleem and Sujau who initially defected but switched sides again.