President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has announced an “independent and impartial investigation” into developments in the Maldives from January 14 to February 8, according to a statement on the President’s Office website.
Dr Waheed did not reveal who would conduct the inquiry, but he acknowledged the need for it yesterday after Germany and the UK to establish the legitimacy of his government.
The dates given include the period of incarceration of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, and subsequent protests held by 200-400 opposition-led demonstrators, which culminated in a press conference on January 31 in which opposition parties called for Dr Waheed to take over the government with the assistance of police and military. The event itself took place on February 7.
In the statement, Dr Waheed said the investigation would create “factual and legal clarity” around events with a “direct bearing on the constitutional transfer of executive power that took place on February 7.”
“The investigation would also help establish accountability for any human rights violations which have taken place and thus set the groundwork for national reconciliation and dialogue,” Dr Waheed’s statement read.
“Reiterating his commitment to free and fair elections in 2013, the President urged all political parties to work together in creating a climate of trust and confidence in the build-up to next year’s elections. The President is also hopeful that the investigation, together with his offer to create a strong National Unity Government that would provide impetus for building trust and the establishment of the rule of law, would facilitate the resumption of normal democratic processes in the country,” the statement read.
Nasheed and his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) maintain that Dr Waheed’s government came to power after Nasheed was forced to resign under duress, and have refused to participate in a “national unity government” they claim is illegitimate.