“Consensus” now to appoint foreign expert to inquiry panel: government

As the European Union reiterates calls for “urgent agreement” on a process for political reconciliation and elections in the Maldives, the government has said it would welcome international independent assistance on ratifying its legitimacy – but only by an organisation accepted by all parties.

The inclusion of international experts in the Committee of National Inquiry (CNI) has been urged by numerous international actors as well as the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and former President Nasheed.  The CNI has been charged with looking into legality of the transfer of presidential power last month to ascertain the legitimacy of the current government.

It currently consists of three members: Ismail Shafeeu, former minister of defence and national security during President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration; Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Maldives National University; and Dr Ibrahim Yasir, former Director General of Health Services.

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza told Minivan News today that there was now “consensus” among politicians for a foreign expert to sit on the panel of the CNI to ascertain the truth over the controversial transfer of power. However, Abbas claimed that the government was presently seeking UN assistance for the inquiry panel following allegations of bias by former opposition MPs and government ministers against  “British interference” within the Commonwealth.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) claimed in response that efforts by certain MPs and government members to discredit the Commonwealth in favour of the UN were nothing but a stalling tactic to delay appointing international assistance.

The Commonwealth, whose ministerial action group (CMAG) last week backed early elections in the country has been criticised by some former opposition MPs and government figures in the Maldives for the comments. The organisation has nonetheless been backed by the EU in its decision to send Special Envoy Sir Don McKinnon to the country over the last few days to hold dialogue with all parties and several former presidents.

Although, not directly echoing the Commonwealth’s calls that “the earliest possible expression of the will of the people was required to establish universal faith in the legitimacy of those who govern the [Maldives],” the EU stressed concern over the continued political unrest in the Maldives.

“I believe it is of utmost importance that political parties and authorities abstain from taking any action that could further complicate matters. Moreover, the security of the leaders of political parties has to be guaranteed,” stated Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“Agreement on the holding of early elections, on the independent investigation of the transfer of power of February 7 and on the re-establishment of the correct functioning of government and parliament is now more important than ever.”

International assistance

Responding to the comments, Abbas Adil Riza said that President Waheed and his government appreciated the consideration of international bodies like the Commonwealth and EU regarding the current political situation in the country.  He added that the government had therefore pledged to do everything they could to follow their advice.

The president’s spokesperson said the government was presently trying to work in line with international calls to host fresh presidential elections and a independent enquiry into the events leading to Dr Waheed coming to power on February 7.

“We are working hard to put together the most independent commission for the enquiry so we can have all parties to agree on its outcome,” Abbas stated. “Sadly MDP MPs have made accusations questioning the pointed panels independence so we have called on the UN to assist with this matter.”

When asked about the nature of this UN “assistance”, the government spokesperson said that discussions has so far related to securing an international expert to be appointed to the CNI panel.

However, Abbas stressed that the government favoured UN assistance – a body which has been noticeably silent amid the country’s growing political crisis. Abbas said some of the former opposition political parties, now in government, had accused the Commonwealth of being bribed by the MDP in local media.

“Since the MDP accusation questioning the independence of the current panel, the PPM and indeed some in the government have raised issues of British involvement in the Commonwealth. The international party has to play a role that is unbiased,” he said.

“The PPM, which is a major political party in this country, has outright accused the Commonwealth of bias.”

Abbas told Minivan News that amidst these allegations, acquiring the direct assistance of the UN, which represented a much wider scope of countries was a more preferable “solution to ensuring legality” of the government.

To this end, the spokesperson added that the foreign Ministry has been in touch with the UN over obtaining international assistance with the independent investigation and that responses had so far been “positive”.

However, he stressed that ensuring true independence in the Maldives was extremely difficult.

“The government is trying to find a balanced solution that all sides can agree upon. However, in a third world country like the Maldives the solutions are often very complex,” Abbas claimed. It is very complicated to maintain neutrality.”

However, MDP spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said the party remained cautious over the government’s commitments to secure an international expert to oversee the independent investigation.

“What we have noticed is evasiveness by the government to finalise international involvement in the enquiry,” he said. “I believe the UN talks are a deviation.”

Ghafoor claimed that this alleged “reluctance” by the Waheed government to involve international experts in its affairs was reflected in what he called the disproportionate response from some MPs towards dismissing and insulting the Comonwealth.

To support this claim, he pointed to comments made by Foreign Minister Dhunya Maumoon, who dismissed calls by the Commonwealth for early elections as showing bias towards one particular party – presumably the MDP and former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Despite these concerns, Ghafoor said he was very encouraged by the latest EU statement issued by Catherine Ashton.  The MDP spokesperson claimed the statement raised additional concerns regarding the current political situation from its previous statement last month, such as in the manner that government and parliament was presently functioning.

“We believe that this shows the situation has deteriorated further,” he claimed.


34 thoughts on ““Consensus” now to appoint foreign expert to inquiry panel: government”

  1. Ah ha! They will appoint that Waheed lapdog Andrew Cox, to agree with everything the regime regime is saying.

  2. Do these small minded islanders from the Maldives really think that the Commonwealth can be "bribed" by a Maldivian Political Party? These people must have even a lower IQ than I originally estimated.

    The difference between the UN and the Commonwealth is that the Commonwealth does not stand idle and play with words. The UN is a toothless organisation that ONLY acts when the interests of the World's major powers are rattled.

    Commonwealth has previously acted against countries that were flouting democractic principles and the tiny minds of Maldivian politicians are clearly not capable of understanding that. If the Maldivian government continues on its current course, the Commonwealth should suspend its membership and take action.

  3. Stay in Addu you terrorist! It is a terrorist island fit for MDP scum, and has been draining Maldivian treausury with their expensive schemes such as gigantic giant hosptials.

    If commonwealth hasnt been bribed, why are they so obviously bias towards MDP?

    They have connections to zionists and Christian priest as well, and they want to make our country lose Islam. All Maldivians should beware of this colonialist organization who are financing MDP terrorists.

  4. When there is money up front or upon performance, those whose IQ's are lower then their soles will utter or do anything. There is nothing wrong being islander!
    Those who are criticizing the Commonwealth are not doing anything other than damaging themselves and the country as well!
    This they would not know, because they are blinded by greed!
    It is disgusting to think about the consequences of these slanders!
    Dr. Waheed seems to be caught in the net in a big way!

  5. Suvadheeb,

    I think everyone in this country has the internet know-how to trace the Conservative Party's funding of the Nasheed government as well as the ousted Australian Prime Ministers active lobbying on Nasheed's behalf at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.

    The use of language by the Commonwealth in recent days and its consequent loss of credibility among the Maldivian people raise serious doubts about the perception among locals about its impartiality. Therefore the best way is to appoint an expert (or preferably two) that are recommended by a more inclusive body that is accepted by all segments of the public to act in an unbiased manner.

    All threats of suspension and expulsion aside, I think the your mind cannot grasp that the Commonwealth itself will ultimately decide to go for the less confrontational approach and favor a solution that is accepted by the majority of the Maldivian people. Nasheed does command very little support among the Maldivian people and the government has successfully countered each of his allegations with a stand that they plan to stick by. Therefore this is not the same game that was played out in 2006 where Qayyoom made the fatal mistake of refusing to make a stand to the international community and later following up that failure by backing down to each of their demands.


  7. To expand on my comment. Now is the time for the Commonwealth and the British government to rectify its past mistakes in its century long engagement with the Maldives.

    As countless educated people and strong institutions in the country have begged the British government and institutions in which it holds sway, OUR FOREIGN PARTNERS AND DONORS NEED TO FUND OUR INSTITUTIONS AND NOT WOULD-BE MESSIAHS AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS.

    Therein lies the path to true development in the Maldives. We need financial and technical assistance to;

    - develop our courts.
    - strengthen our Parliament.
    - strengthen our education system.
    - educate the public on democracy and civic values.
    - develop public confidence in our infant institutions.

    Instead the Conservative Party itself should shoulder some of the blame for singling out a political organization to finance hoping that it would bring about a democratic revival in our country.

    Also please note, that foreign agencies cannot dictate what our civic faith should be. Our value system and the direction of our national compass will be determined by our people. We will always reserve the right to hold the reigns to our future. The age of colonialism is past. We are no longer barbarians waiting for our European masters to direct us as part of some manifest destiny.

  8. @Markaz - did you actually say that "draining the resources to build a gigantic hospital" ??????

    The rest of the world just despairs at how low and selfish you clearly are. This is the new regime all over. I hope there is no hospiatl available for you if you need one!

  9. @tsk tsk on Thu, 22nd Mar 2012 2:15 AM

    "...consequent loss of credibility among the Maldivian people..."

    Who are these "Maldivian people" that you speak of? Are you the representative of all "Maldivian people"? What right do you have to speak on behalf of the "Maldivian people"?

    I as well plenty of others happen to also be "Maldivian people" and there certainly is no loss of credibility in any international organisation as far as we are concerned. The fact that an international body has come out critical of your agenda seems to have upset those behind that agenda.

    Moreover, we are not playing a "game" here either. This is a matter of life and survival for a lot of people in this country. Those who think that they can walk over us by making a "stand" will be making a huge mistake. Make your "stands" against the international community. What I can tell you is that you won't be making that "stand" against our will!

  10. @Tsk Tsk
    Listen to yourself - you are simply attacking any-one who does not see it the way you wish it to be. It is irrationale to dismiss and and invalidate the CW because you seed them as a threat to the truth. The social media evidence does not change the facts = it was a COUP - and the rest of the world can see that now.

  11. The International organizations will do little other than issue terse short statements calling for "reconciliation". Their priority will always be to prevent further degeneration of the society and prevention of a "failed state".

    Reconciliation could happen if there were genuine grievances between people. There isn't. What exists is a bogeyman of evils such as "alcohol" and "Jewishness", which is what defines the opposition to Nasheed. The Kleptocrats toss enough crumbs to keep these people motivated. In the age of twitter, Facebook and other sources of information, it is hard to keep secrets though.

    The fact that Nasheed truly carries the popular support is clear to see, except of course for those blinded by hate. Do not take my word for it though, watch the crowds who rally around him. Also it is the current President with the "90% of support" who is afraid of an election.

  12. " use of language by the Commonwealth in recent days and its consequent loss of credibility among the Maldivian people raise serious doubts about the perception among locals about its impartiality"

    In other words criticism implies bias. In that case you are right, they are biased toward the MDP too.

    The only organizations "unbiased" to the Coup Leaders will be "DhiTV" and "VTV'.

  13. Please don't talk what you don't know. We are here and seeing what is this regime. When a person is much greed they are blinded. This Government will talk and talk and will try to delay the election till July 2013. Even that we MDP will become the winner. SUVADEEB don't know a thing.. MDP have more than 40,000 registered members nearest (DRP) is just 29,000 registered members. In Maldives around or less than 200,000 peoples are eligibly for vote. Just wait and see by your self. And remember we are nor running behind just ANNI, we have a great leaders other than ANNI, and we know what Maldivian are in-need of.




  16. “Consensus” required now to appoint foreign expert to inquiry panel: Clear indication that Mr. Waheed has downgraded as a puppet in the hands of all...a consensus that will conveniently never arrive... But don't forget...you will never be indefinitely in power. Read History when you get some free time.

  17. People who give bribe to do things will always think that others will also do the same.......the main reason PPM is saying that Common Wealth is bribed. Gasim Champa and Deen can bribe few unethical police officers.......but to bribe a international organisation ....hehehhe what a joke.
    These so called MP's of PPM sound like Mugabe, Saddam and few other dictactors who did say things like this international community.....

  18. MDP members of Majlis don't deserve to be in Majlis. They have shown criminal act in front of the whole world. They may be the lawmakers but they too cant be above the law.
    They have show disgrace to their voters and their nation.

    Its a shame these MDP members are calling for a presidential election, while we "The People" feel we need a majlis election.

  19. If it was a coup , why did Kenneryge Anni is able to walk freely on the roads ? Give me any ousted president who were not arrested after the coup ? This clearly show it was not a coup and it happened juts because drunken guy without senses resigned and realized that he had done mistake after 24 hrs.

    Commonwealth had supported Anni to become president and Anni promised them that he will give religious freedom in Maldives . Anni has proven that he can buy allowing people like Hillath to call on religious freedom .

    People think deeply and you will realized what is going on here

  20. @Diesel

    tsk tsk, is Dunya Maumoon you say? As in, the less than competent lady that unfortunately inherited her fathers jaw Dunyaa?

    What makes you say that?

  21. CMAG was condemned by DMAG (Dhunya Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)...so it's very clear that no early election is possible in the Maldives......And again pro-government officials like MP Riyaz & Ilham does not believe countries like the UK are Democratic governments and that it's quite difficult for Dr Waheed to support for an early election even if he wishes so............so let's wait and see what happens after the Commonwealth envoy departs failing his mission.....pray Allah for all the best, Insha Allah

  22. Ofcourse Waheeds Military Coup backed government would favour the UN. We have seen the likes of Dunya Maumoon walking the corridors of the UN building in the Maldives the day of the Coup when she had no mandate to be there. And ofcourse lets not forget Waheeds, Asims and Samads freinds in the UN. Why would they not want UN to help an inquiry.

    Actually maybe the UN does not even need to do an inquiry as they have probably been told by Dunya what happened on the 7th of Febraury while she visited the UN offices on the 7th of February.

  23. How are you working hard to put together the most independent commission with Ismail Shafeeu, former minister of defence and national security during President Maumoon ’s administration; Dr Ibrahim Yasir, former Director General of Health Services in Maumoon’s administration? And then you say the international community has to play an unbiased role? So PO spoke person believes that Commonwealth is bias? OMG Abbas you don’t qualify for a spokes person, you believe that because we are a 3rd world country solutions are complicated? It is not that my dear it’s complicated because you would not allow anybody to sit in that commission that wouldn't eat off Waheed’s hands.
    You think you have a chance with the UN to say that it is not a coup because Andrew Cox is there or because Waheed initially came from UN system? Which is it? You think because UN is the only choice as they have been silent in all what is happening in the Maldives. You can’t have EU because they have called for early elections you can’t have Commonwealth because they did as well and anyone who has suggested such is favouring MDP!!! You are a joke!!!

  24. Well, those who think the Commonwealth is bribed do so because it is in favour for a snap election which is actually being impartial.

    The idea of delaying or not holding an election earlier than 2013 when the next election is due any way is supporting the rebellion against the elected government that was overthrown in a military coup on February 7.

    A coup-led government must be replaced by an elected government as soon as possible and this is why an early election is necessary.

  25. Foreign Minister Dhunya and other coup-regime officials have told some local media outlets that they would go as far as launching a military attack on the British territories in the Indian Ocean if the Commonwealth continues calling for early elections in the Maldives. How crazy is this? the Coup-regime wants to hold onto power at any cost..

  26. "Foreign Minister Dhunya and other coup-regime officials have told some local media outlets that they would go as far as launching a military attack on the British territories in the Indian Ocean..."

    Oh yeah? With what? Rocket propelled coconuts perhaps? I can just imagine the charge of the coconut force, led by none other than Frog Man Mundhu! Would make a nice cartoon, come to think of it...

  27. Dhunya pagal hai, dheevaanaa farting hai!
    Hum bole, tum bole, bum bole, dumbole!

    Tsk tsk! Dr. Samad side lined and stringed and left to attend the spa at home!

    Tsk tsk! What a comment! Dhunya pagal hai!

  28. British dominated commonwealth should not/ cannot be trusted. after all British PM Cameron has publicly said Nasheed is his best friend.
    British are good to drink and party with Nasheed.

  29. Maldivians are still living in the Dark Ages. They have not yet entered the 21st century.
    The overthrow of President Nasheed was a daylight robbery. There is enough video evidence to convict the criminals in a country where the judges are of high calibre, fair and free.
    Already the school textbooks have been revised to brainwash the children and tell lies to posterity.
    Is this what Islam is about?

  30. Re-read my comment folks. In every sentence I have talked about the perception of bias rather than alleging actual bias on the part of the Commonwealth.

    The Maldivian people need a solution that is accepted by all of its people as repeatedly recommended by foreign institutions such as the EU, the Commonwealth and the UN.

    In finding such solutions it would have been desirable that we reach our conclusions in consultation among ourselves rather than involving foreign individuals or institutions. However the polarization in our society has led many of us to believe that the only guarantee of impartiality is to involve foreigners in our internal affairs.

    If so, such involvement should be measured, balanced and mediated so as to ensure that any decision reached by our political parties respects the sovereign nature of the Maldives and her people.

    Is this opinion so wrong? If so, then I think our ideas of what constitutes a nation are different.

    All of us need to understand however that the current situation is one which requires complete consensus among major political players in the country. Holding elections in 2012 to please the MDP because militant elements within the party might gather and cause disruption of commerce and social harmony is not the way forward. The final decision will rest on the back and forth within all party talks. All of us should rest back, let our politicians handle things and return to our families and find ways to reconnect with our kith and kin in this small close-knit community.

  31. It's very shallow to conclude that just because the government suggested it, the said international expert would be biased. We've become such cynics in these past few months, so much so that we've moved from accusing each other, to actually pointing fingers and accusing world bodies of taking sides. sad. for example, just because andrew cox is the un representative, does not mean he would be on the panel. surely it would be an expert they would deploy from a political panel from new york or someplace. or if you get EU or the commonwealth on board for instance, does not automatically guarantee that things will go favouring one direction. we should all take a step back and take stock of where we are at as a country. dangerous mindsets now.


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