Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed has said February 7, 2012’s controversial transfer of power was by politicians posing as religious scholars “selling out on the religion of Islam.”
Nasheed made the comments while addressing a rally held in the island of Bilehdhoo in Faafu Atoll on Sunday night, where a number of new members signed to the party including the island’s council president.
Only aim of small parties is promoting self-interest
Addressing the crowds, Nasheed stated that the country was seeing the formation of a number of small political parties.
“These parties are not formed with any intention of promoting any specific ideology or philosophy. The objective of forming these parties are to increase the power of their private businesses through these parties,” he stated.
“When they have a political party they sit down for business discussions, and the government is forced to relent. This is the reason why these people create political parties,” Nasheed said.
“After forming such parties, they then contest in elections and say that if they are given cabinet posts, islands, judges and warehouses, then they will into a coalition. The people have no part in such a coalition, it’s only these leaders who enter it,” Nasheed continued.
He further added that although small party leaders did not consider the interests of the general members or citizens when entering coalitions, he regretted that such parties were initially formed by acquiring signatures from those among the public.
“These forms were filled illegitimately using money as an incentive. We are seeing this for certain beyond any doubt. And once the party is formed, they then sell off the party to this coalition,” he alleged.
“One of the biggest things that this coalition has done is toppling the government which was legitimately elected in 2008.”
“This country has a ‘haram’ government”
“There is no greater sin in Islam than to orchestrate a coup,” Nasheed stated.
“Wearing hats of sheikhs and religious scholars, they have committed a huge sin, an act which is absolutely haram. Today, this country has a haram government. Being a 100 percent Muslim country, we must not let them continue carrying out this haram act in front of our eyes. God willing, we will win this presidential election in one round.”
“God willing, the righteous will always win. Human experience has never shown that a people who have committed a haram act, and remain in that state of sin, can succeed in what they are doing. We have never seen this happen in the past, and except for a few of our countrymen, no one believes they will gain that success even in future.”
During his speech, Nasheed spoke of the rhetoric used by political parties had against his administration prior to the contentious transfer of power in February 2012.
“In their ploy to topple our government, they spoke of two things. One is that it was for the sake of religion. In this context, one issue they raised was that the management of Ghiyasudheen School [in Male’] included foreigners. Meanwhile, we can clearly see that even here the principal is a foreigner, the teachers are foreigners.”
“After having preached this against Ghiyasudheen School, today it is the children of these religious scholars who are enrolled to study in that school. [Adhaalath Party MP] Muhthalib’s child goes to that school. The Supreme Court Judges’ children also go to that school. All the religious scholars have their children enrolled in this school, and this is because it is a school where the educational standards are very high,” Nasheed said.
“They toppled our government because we were establishing that school, and yet today their children are enrolled there,” he claimed.
“When they were overthrowing our government, they spoke about massage parlours. We are not seeing these places being closed down today. They spoke of the sale of alcohol, and yet the amount of alcohol being sold has not gone down.”
“I am absolutely certain that you will not see any issue that they have raised that has been stopped today,” Nasheed said, addressing many of the accusations that had been made against him by the then opposition coalition.
“By donning the caps of religious scholars and deceiving citizens in the name of religion, they gained power in a government and are now in the midst of the biggest worldly sin,” Nasheed alleged.
“The religion of Islam is a religion which has been given respect and honour in our hearts. They can always play with our hearts when they speak in the name of religion, especially when they do so in the guise of being Islamic scholars,” he said.
“We Maldivians are waking up to this now. We can no longer believe the things they say in the name of being religious scholars.”
“The Adhaalath Party did contest in the parliamentary elections, as well as the local council elections. They did not win a single seat in the first, and only two or three or seats on Fainu in the local council elections, out of a total of over 1700 seats,” Nasheed stated.
“Maldivians have never accepted that religious scholars should get entangled in worldly political matters. They are pious, righteous people who should be advising people like us on religious matters. It will not do when today they themselves are coming out and drafting laws to govern massage parlours,” Nasheed said.
“All of this is clear to us Maldivians now: a coup d’etat was brought about in the Maldives, and this coup was orchestrated by selling out the religion of Islam.”
“’Me, me, mine’ is the motto of small parties”
“The other issue that they spoke of when toppling our government is that we were putting up national assets for sale. They claimed we sold the airport on Hulhule’, which still remains there. No one has left taking the airport with them,” Nasheed stated.
“After the coup, the very people who claimed loudly that airport had been sold and partook in the coup, took the airport themselves. This they did not see as a national asset. The airport that we rent out for development was said to be a national asset, though. It is as if they become assets when they are in the hands of a certain people. As if it is not a national asset as long as it remains in their hands,” he said.
“The whole objective of a small political party is ‘for me, me, mine’; to see what is in it for them and to continue forming coalitions so as to increase the lot they will personally gain from it,” Nasheed continued.
“No development work was carried out in the Maldives in 2012 – the country was at a standstill. These people’s motto is to remain in a standstill. The government is at a standstill. They do nothing besides quarrelling among themselves,” Nasheed said.
“I think that if they make a large coalition, there is no relief for us Maldivians. It will be then be all about their coalition, their interests, their wealth, their businesses and their rule.”
“Children are not to be handled like tuna”
President Mohamed Waheed has meanwhile expressing “deep sadness” after a parent had stopped a child from shaking hands with the him during a trip to Meemu Atoll last weekend.
“The child won’t even know who I am even, but the father has taught the child a very bad lesson. To refuse to shake hands with anyone who approaches is not something Muslims do, not something Maldivians do,” Waheed was quoted as saying in local media.
Nasheed referred to this incident in his speech in Bilehdhoo.
“When ‘Baaghee’ (traitor) Mohamed Waheed went to an island and tried to harass a child, and the parents stopped him from doing so, he released a media statement expressing sadness about this,” Nasheed said.
“I have said even the other day, that parents will of course get angry when you try to hoist a child up like they hoist up tuna onto a fishing boat. I have said even then that we look at this child, carry this child, because their life is our party’s future, this nation’s future. This party has a policy which has to do with everything from their toe to their tip of their hair. This party is the child’s party. This party exists for the sake of the child’s future, for our future. To make their hopes and dreams a reality. And so, parents will not get angry when we approach their children and carry them,” Nasheed stated.