Nasheed resigned “not under duress”: Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Defence Minister has claimed Nasheed was not under duress when he resigned from office, local media reported.

Speaking to the Committee on Government Accountability at the People’s Majlis, Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu said that he did not believe “anyone” could have posed a threat to Nasheed’s life while he was in the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) headquarters, local media reported.

The comments were made in relation to the Committee on Government Accountability’s study into the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI).

“From the beginning till the end, Nasheed was under full protection of the security forces. When he walked to the President’s Office, he was given a timeline to announce his resignation, but such a timeline did not mean that he had to, or that he was forced to resign.

“He did not have to resign, the circumstances did not become so grave that he had no choice but to resign”, Kaleyfaanu was quoted as saying in Sun Online.

Kaleyfaanu claimed that the situation became worse on February 7 due to Nasheed’s handling of the situation. He further alleged that Nasheed had begun commanding ordinary officers of the security forces in violation of principles of command, local media reported.