Opposition condemns Pres Solih's departure to US amid crisis

The opposition have voiced their objections against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for departing to the United States to attend the 74th UN General Assembly, soon after a massive fire engulfed seven buildings in capital Male'.

A fire originated in a chemical warehouse on Abadhahfehi Magu of Henveiru ward on Friday night, which eventually spread to three nearby warehouses and six homes, claiming the life of one.

At a press conference held by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the the People's National Congress (PNC), former Defense Minister and current Maduvvaree PM, Adam Shareef Umar stated that the current situation in Male' demanded an immediate contingency plan.

He emphasized the need to ensure that those affected by the fire receive the necessary assistance, and noted that the highest authority that can assure the needful is done is President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

"We have noticed that his excellency has traveled out of the country today. We will not stand for this. This clearly shows the lack of concern the current government has for its people during a time like this. We condemn the president leaving the country in the midst of this crisis", Shareef said.

Shareef said it is more important for the people of the country that the president takes immediate steps upon such a crisis, and oversees its implementation rather than for the president to address at the United Nations.

He further stated that the incident needs to be thoroughly investigated, noting his belief that it was negligence that led to the incident. Shareef also criticized Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi for relaying unverified information on the incident to the media.