President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s brother, the Deputy High Commissioner of the Maldives to the UK, has announced his resignation and called for his brother to follow suit.
“I have resigned from my post of Deputy High Commissioner as of now. I have resigned because I cannot serve a regime that has brought down the democratically elected government of my country in a coup d’état,” said Naushad Waheed Hassan to media assembled on the steps of the High Commission in London.
“Some of you may question why I have not resigned before. When the coup was unfolding in the early hours of February 7, my initial reaction was to resign immediately. However, as you all know, the leader of the current regime, Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, is my own brother. So I decided to take time to make my own enquiries before I came to a conclusion. And it is with a heavy heart that I have to say that this is indeed an illegitimate government and I cannot be party to it.”
Minivan News spoke to Naushad this evening, seeking to confirm the report.
“This is not something I have discussed with my brother,” Naushad told Minivan News. “This is my own personal decision. I stood by him. But I after I saw the videos of the torturing, the police brutality, and saw what happened in the atolls, I decided it was not good for me to stay [in the government].”
Naushad said he did not know why his brother had taken the actions that he had.
“From our childhood days, I know he is a nice person. I still believe this. I don’t know why he is favouring Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom]. At this moment I don’t have the details. But I will find out why he took this step. He is someone who has been loved by people for so many years,” he said.
“And I say this to my brother – you are my brother and I will always love you. Do not rob our people of our right to choose our government. Do not be party to this police brutality that is ongoing in the country. Do not join with the people of the autocratic ruler (former) President Gayoom. Do the right thing – resign and hold fresh elections. Let the people of the Maldives decide.”
A staff member in the High Commission described Naushad as “quietly spoken and very friendly. His artwork was up in the commission until this morning so we should have seen it coming. I always noticed that he was happy to talk about his past incarceration [under Gayoom], but he never came across as too bitter.”
The staff member noted that the atmosphere in the High Commission had been a “little terse”, with “differences of opinion between staff that have stronger political, MDP affiliations than others, who see their role in a more purely diplomatic, apolitical sense.”
Maldives Ambassador to UN resigns live on Al Jazeera
Maldives Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, has meanwhile resigned live on Al Jazeera, reading a statement in which he said he was unable to continue his duties due to “certain moral and ethical concerns I had that surrounded the departure of the former President [Nasheed].”
“I listened with much sadness and great pride to the resignation of [President Nasheed] and his decision to step down in the greater interest of the Maldives, bringing to a premature end the maiden term of the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives,” said Ghafoor, one of the Maldives top career diplomats who has also served as defacto non-resident Ambassador to the US.
“The Maldives had yet again shown the world it was able to handle peaceful transfers of power smoothly. I was proud of my President and my country. However the subsequent allegations by the former president – that he was forced to resign – have cast a shadow of doubt on events preceding his announcement,” he stated.
Ghafoor said he accepted Dr Waheed’s government as a legal and legitimate constitutional authority, but said he found himself “in a position that makes it difficult to execute my responsibilities without equivocation based on certain moral and ethical concerns I had that surrounded the departure of the former president.”
“I believe the new president should have the opportunity to have his views and policies served by representatives without reservations or equivocation,” Ghafoor said. “I have therefore conveyed my intention to step down from all my diplomatic postings so that the new president may be better served.”
Ghafoor said that Dr Waheed had accepted his resignation, and had agreed to stay on until a replacement arrived.
“He has also given me leave to speak my conscience in the meantime, and I thank him for that,” Ghafoor said.
Asked by Al Jazeera as to the nature of his “moral and ethical concerns”, Ghafoor reiterated that he had “no reservations about the legitimacy of the current administration.”
“But what has made my conscience troubled is the allegations made by the former President and subsequent events. One concern was the appointment of the current defense minister and police commissioner , who I believe were involved in the negotiations [surrounding Nasheed’s resignation]. This was a troubling event for me.”
Maldives High Commissioner to the UK resigns
Maldives High Commissioner to the UK Dr Farahanaz Faizal also announced her resignation earlier this week.
“They robbed the people of the vote and when I saw the brutality of the police last week, that was the final straw,” she said.
In a letter to the Foreign Minister, Dr Faizal resigned as High Commissioner of the Maldives to the UK and as Ambassador of the Maldives to France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Palestine.
“I regret to let you know that I cannot serve in a government that has toppled the
democratically elected government of Maldives, in a coup d’etat,” she said.
Honorary Consul to the Maldives, David Hardingham, also announced his resignation.
Minivan News sought to contact both Dr Waheed but he had not responded at time of press. Dr Waheed’s acting spokesperson Musood Imad said the President would be holding a press conference on Thursday at 4:30pm.