The controversial transfer of power on February 7 is “past us” and the Maldives will soon have “peace and harmony”, President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan told a rally on Ihavandhoo in Haa Alif Atoll.
“I believe the incident of February 7 is past us now. That incident is over now. The people who were unhappy about it are getting weaker and fewer. It is all fading away now,” Dr Waheed said. “Therefore, God willing, very soon we will see a united people working together.”
Speaking at the rally during his trip to the atoll over the weekend, the President said although he was informed of the possibility of facing some opposition from the people, the only sound he had heard was of a very warm welcome from the islanders.
Speaking at the rally in Ihavandhoo, President Waheed expressed his satisfaction with the current state of the country.
“Now the people of the Maldives enjoy freedom and protection of their rights more than ever before in this country,” Dr Waheed said.
“One thing I am really proud of is that nobody will be arrested any more for saying anything about the government or the President,” he added.
A total of 29 people were arrested during the unrest following the President’s visit to Haa Alif atoll. Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed that 15 of the arrested were still under police custody.
Police replaced opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) flags around the harbour area with national flags before the President’s arrival, Haneef noted.
During his tour of Haa Alif Atoll, President Waheed also visited the Dhihdhoo island. Dhihdhoo Councilor Ahmed Jameel told newspaper Haveeru that 100 meters surrounding the island jetty was closed off with police tape prior to the arrival of President.
According to Haveeru, the island’s council said the President was to meet supporters of pro-government political parties inside the cordoned off area and that no island councilors had been allowed inside.
President Waheed’s supporters were also subjected to comprehensive screening before meeting the President, the council claimed.
Sub-Inspector Haneef confirmed to Minivan News that five people including two island councilors were arrested prior to the President’s visit on June 2, for “disrupting peace and breaking accepted social standards in the public.”
During his speech, President Waheed claimed that elements of the MDP had “unusual, undemocratic, and uncivilised” ideas, however “we must not worry about them at all as they are very few in number.”
“We have a perfect democracy in the Maldives now. If members from the only political party that has a different ideology from us calmed down and started working with us, we would have peace and harmony in this country. There wouldn’t be a single person who would create havoc in the country,” he claimed.