Jailed religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla has rejected a "deal" offered by the government, it has emerged.
Imran was sentenced to 12 years in prison for inciting violence during a major opposition protest held in May 2015. Prosecutors blamed the violence and destruction of property on a speech delivered by Imran during the protest.
The respected Islamic scholar was recently transferred to house arrest and according to reliable sources, incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had dispatched his top aides led by the recently named ruling party running Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed to negotiate a "deal".
Shaheem had been president Yameen's first Islamic minister but had stepped down after the jailing of his long-time friend Sheikh Imran.
Shaheem was appointed as the IUM chancellor in 2016 and had later quit from Adhaalath Party citing differences with current party ideologies.
AVAS understands that Shaheem had offered Imran to join president Yameen for the upcoming presidential elections which he reportedly refused.
The "deal" also included an offer for Imran to be allowed to go into exile with his family.
AVAS has been unable to obtain an official government comment over the reports.
However, a post by one of Imran's daughters on her Facebook page has given further weight to the reports.
She claims that despite being desperate to be re-united with her father, she would show her love for her father by supporting him in his reform efforts.
Opposition aligned lawmaker Ahmed Mahloof had also recently made claims of a deal being offered to Sheikh Imran.
"I'd rather rot in prison than be free by accepting a deal with president Yameen," was Imran's response according to Mahloof.