CNI draft “embarrassing for the Commonwealth”: MDP spokesperson

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has hit out at the Commonwealth over the work of Singaporean Judge G.P. Selvam, whose initial draft report on the Committee of National Inquiry’s (CNI) findings was yesterday denounced by the opposition party.

The criticism, backed by an MDP resolution, was first raised by former President Nasheed’s representative on the CNI panel, Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed.

“I think it is embarrassing for the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). This is a bad show – it is not worthy of such an institution,” said MDP MP and Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.

After concerted pressure from the Commonwealth and the MDP to reform the CNI, Selvam – a retired Supreme Court Judge from Singapore – was installed as co-chair of the body charged with investigating the events surrounding former President Nasheed’s resignation on February 7.

The Commonwealth’s Special Envoy to the Maldives, Sir Donald McKinnon, released a statement today regarding the report’s scheduled publication on August 30.

“I look forward to the imminent completion of the work of the reconstituted Commission of National Inquiry and to its being able to agree on its report. As we approach the release of that report, I would encourage all stakeholders to respect the commission’s findings, and to take time to reflect carefully on how to act upon them in a manner that maintains harmony in Maldivian society and helps strengthen democratic practice and institutions in the country,” he said.

The changes to the commission also included the addition of a Nasheed nominee Saeed, who yesterday revealed his deep dissatisfaction with Selvam’s initial draft of the body’s report.

“The report that Judge Selvam has drafted and brought is a draft that somewhat refutes or denies what we Maldivians saw and experienced – or a draft that somewhat confuses things, the way it is now,” Saeed told the press.

“While this is happening, for me to stay here, at Muleeage, would I believe be a betrayal of my country and the Maldivian people. I see the draft report as having been written without considering the witness testimony of many, many people to CNI as well as the many scenes we saw,” he added.

Ghafoor, who today described the situation as “unacceptable” and “embarrassing” for the Commonwealth, suggested that Sir Donald McKinnon ought to be asked “who the hell this guy [Selvam] is.”

“Mr Selvam’s integrity is at a critical level,” he claimed. “Yesterday he got caught out.”

McKinnon’s statement today acknowledged that many issues would undoubtedly arise after the report’s release.

“I encourage political leaders to increase their efforts towards engaging in genuine dialogue, in order that consensus may be achieved, in a constructive and peaceful manner, on the path forward,” said McKinnon.

Meanwhile, local television station Raajje TV – linked closely with the MDP – yesterday aired a video of Singaporean-born lawyer and long-time critic of Judge Selvam, Gopalan Nair, in which he describes Selvam as a man “totally devoid of integrity”.

Nair has been writing about Judge Selvam on his ‘Singapore Dissident’ blog since 2010.

Moreover, in January this year, Malaysian media reported that Judge Selvam was accused of lying by chairman of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP), Karpal Singh.

Singh accused the retired justice of “lying to clear the air on an alleged plagiarism case involving a Malaysian Court of Appeal judge.”

A letter from Selvam to the Malaysian Chief Justice, clarifying that there was no case for plagiarism against the court of appeal judge, reportedly contradicted a statement from Selvam published in the Singaporean Straits Time.

Selvam was quoted as saying that the Malaysian judge had obtained a copy of his judgement through a lawyer, and “copied chunks from me without acknowledging”.

Meanwhile, MDP MP Mohamed Shifaz was also reported in local media as labeling Selvam “Singapore’s Abdullah” in reference to Maldivian Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdullah Mohamed, whose controversial detention earlier this year by the military has been the subject of investigations by numerous independent institutions.

Abdullah was arrested in January, with the former Home Minister Hassan Afeef accusing the judge of having “taken the entire criminal justice system in his fist”.

The incident proved to be a major turning point in anti-government protests against the Nasheed administration, leading to sustained periods of unrest in the run up to the former President’s resignation on February 7.

However, President’s Office spokesman Masood Imad was dismissive of attacks on Selvam’s credibility.

“Selvam is a man of stature chosen by the Commonwealth,” said Masood, who also criticised Saeed’s outburst as “lacking professionalism”.

Masood noted that both Selvam and Saeed had been added to the commission at the MDP’s request.

The MDP’s National Council, yesterday evening, unanimously backed a resolution refusing to accept the report in its current format.

In the evening, the MDP recommenced its campaign of protests, which had been suspended for the final period of Ramazan in order to encourage political negotiations.

In response to questions over rising tension in the country, Ghafoor said that the party was not seeking confrontation.

“We are demanding two things – early elections and an agreement on a post-CNI scenario,” he said.

The MDP forwarded a list of suggested outcomes to the government earlier in the month to which the President’s Office responded that it would not discuss the findings until their official release on August 29.

Ghafoor accused President Waheed of “cunningly destabilising the country” by refusing to make arrangements for the report’s release.

He also said that the party remained hopeful that the commission’s final report would reflect its opinion that President Nasheed was removed in a coup.


13 thoughts on “CNI draft “embarrassing for the Commonwealth”: MDP spokesperson”

  1. The list of criminals as per MDP is getting longer by the day.

    Yesterday, the Singapore Judge was included.

    Today it is the CMAG - Commonwealth.

    It used to be the police and MNDF, Waheed and Maumoon.

    Almost everyone except MDP are now on the list.

  2. This is because his whole thing was engineered by the coup regime. M Od do younink we were all born yesterday???

  3. Why were questions about Selvam and his background not asked before this? It's a bit late in the day to be making these accusations. MDP should have asked "who the hell" he is on the day he was given the post on this commission!

    Makes one wonder about the total I.Q. of the higher echelons of MDP. Once again, they are about to descend into a spiralling wave of mistakes and hand over opportunities for their opponents.

    The likes of Umar Naseer and Gayyoom must be laughing their pants off, since all they have to do is wait and let MDP dig its own grave further. This is really pathetic.

  4. I agree with Ahmed bin Addu.

    This whole thing leaves a bad taste in one's mouths. MDP should really rethink its statements in this regard.

    Selvam held a high post in Singapore a country noted for its effective and efficient State machinery. To allow the likes of Baarashu MP Mohamed Shifaz to attack such a man with unfounded claims is both laughable and seriously harmful to the image of our country and its political system.

    I have earlier said the same thing as Ahmed did before. Concerns about CNI's composition were addressed earlier by the Commonwealth and Nasheed. Any gripes that the party may have following what seems to be its privileged look at an initial draft just seems wrong any way you look at it.

    Also the report cannot and should not be subjective and tailored to reflect the sentiments or feelings of a certain section of the Maldivian people whom Saeed thinks he represents.

    I am sure the report will be equally damning on all involved in causing the chaos which led to the breakdown of our State. Thank god we have been able to keep the Constitution afloat. Let's not threaten its existence any more and get back to working on a solution towards peacefully getting our institutions back on track towards holding free and fair elections.

  5. Quote.{Ghafoor, who today described the situation as “unacceptable” and “embarrassing” for the Commonwealth, suggested that Sir Donald McKinnon ought to be asked “who the hell this guy [Selvam] is.”} unquote

    I think we have to ask this question from MDP. Were they in the clouds when Judge Selvam was appointed to CoNI and accepted by Commonwealth?

    Was Anni & MDP floating over clouds when Judge Selvam was appointed and accepted by MDP?

    After making all the noise against Ismail Shafeeu chairing CoNI, MDP happily accepted Judge Selvam as co-chair knowing his credentials and being satisfied with his solid reputation.

    As expected whenever an outcome from any Institution or person comes out against the position of MDP, they will immediately attack to try and destroy the impartiality and competence of that Institution or person rather than criticizing the contents of the outcome (be it a report or otherwise)

    By resorting to such tactics, MDP is destroying the infant democracy of this country and making it hard to build institutions in this country. Without institutions it will be impossible to establish Rule of Law and Democracy.

    The current leaders & senior officials of MDP are militants and a dark force of mayhem and anarchy. They certainly do not serve the best interests of the citizens of this country.

  6. We all know that Anni , will not accept anything against him and everything has to be in favor of this guy.

    Even MDP is not hijacked by this guy and I think it is hugh time for majority of MDP members to give up on this crazy Anni.

    It is still early to comprehend about this report and one need to read it before making comments.

    However it was very clear for me that Anni resigned himself due to his incapability to run the nation and his wrong attitude and places made him to quit the job.

    All the blunders and challenging the constitution were done right in front of our eyes and was very clear that it was not a cue and Anni resigned himself for the sake of our nation.

  7. Why is the MDP asking questions of the Judge from Singapore now. Can the MDP clarify to mus why the MDP did not reject the judge at the time?

  8. Okay ! MDP was unhappy with the previous three member composition of the Inquiry comission, they First protested to include people that they wanted to include. On this ground, they asked to appoint Gaha Saeed and on MDP's bickering, Commonwealth intervened and recommended to appoint Selvam.

    At first MDP had no qualms regarding Selvam. Now suddenly, when the report release is drawing near, and it seems like Selvam wont draft the report as per MDP's wishes, overnight Selvam has become the most corrupt person on their planet.

    This is the same old story with MDP. When courts make a ruling against an MDP member, the whole court System and judiciary becomes corrupt. When the Human Rights commission released a report outlining MDP's botches on Feb 7, MDP deemed the Human rights Commission corrupt. When Police stop an MDP member from throwing stones the Police are labelled as torturers by MDP. When the Army moved into block MDP demonstrations, MDP accusses army and Maldives defense forces personnel of accepting bribes.

    This seems to indicate some kind of serious mental problems within MDP, and a tactic to label any actions taken against their party as divinely evil or wrong, whilst always deeming themselves correct. According to them they are never wrong, their party activists never committ crimes, their Majilis members never stop Maijilis sessions even when the truth is before them. MDP wil lie, deceive, in order to convinvce other people that they are always right, and other people are always wrong.

    If the United Nations or the President of America were to say something againt MDP, he would probably turn into the devil. This is the pathetic state of MDP. A party who truly cannot digest any talk against them, and swiftly moves to discredit and shame anyone who is not on their side. Mulay was the first target. Today it is Selvam. Tomorrow it will be, anyone who is not MDP.

  9. Why did Commonwealth hire a corrupted Singaporean Judge like selvam, who has a record of harassing opposition politicians with shame court cases in Singapore to protect Le Kuan Yu dictatorship?

  10. Its funny this Selvam even brought ipads to bribe the other members of CONI after his 31 day holiday.

    why did Selvam made the draft report at his home while on holiday?

  11. It seems the verdict of this Singapore man headed inquiry commission would be more that would be reflection of Singapore type undemocratic judgment based on control and grip on civil liberties. Probably their verdict will be envisaging a shortsighted solution that would please the warriors who fight against democracy who toppled the Anni government due to Annis open democratic policies. The change of government may look like that it was outcome of chain of events that unfolded due to Anni’s action. They can prove their case by using such argument that Anni has dug his own grave by violating the right of Judge Abdulla. However, it is funny that no one questions the integrity of Abdulla, and Abdulla has become above the law who is more powerful than a president who is elected by the people. The second theory that Anni’s unlawful order to withdraw riot police from the riot science has forced to the police to mutiny is just an excuse to make the police clean and project them as people of disciplined force who did that all to safeguard rioters. The question is if the police was so much to protect the people why they unleashed their brutal behavior after Anni has resigned and went on killing spree of MDP protectors. Isn’t it obvious that the police was seeking an opportunity to revenge MDP and was desperate to get rid of Anni at any cost? Whatever the commission’s final outcome is, the change of power was against Mldivian constitution that does not allow the police to ask president to resign and force him for his resignation.

  12. ޤާނޫނު އަސާސީގެ 4 ވަނަ މާއްދާ އުވާލަން ސްޕްރީމް ކޯޓަށް ދިއުމަށް ރައީސް ވަޙީދަށް އިޚްލާޞްތެރިކަމާއި އެކު ގޮވާލަން. އެހެންނޫނީ ޤާނޫނީ އިމުގެ ބޭރުން މީހުން ހައްޔަރު ތިކުރައްވަނީ ހަޖަމުނުކުރެއްވޭތީ. 7 ފެބުރުއަރީ ގައި ފުލުހުން، ފުލުހުންގެ ޔުނީފޯރމްގައި ތިބެ ސަލާމަތީ ބާރުތަކުގެ އިދާރާ ތަކާއި ޢާންމު ރައްޔިތުން ހިމާޔަތްކުރުމަށް ކުރި ހުވަޔާއި ޚިލާފަށް، ސަލާމަތީ ބާރުތަކުގެ މަރުކަޒުތަކަށް ހަމަލާދީ ބޮޑެތި ގެއްލުންތަކެއް ދިން. މިފަދަ ގެއްލުންތަކެއް މިފަހުގެ ތާރީޚެއްގައި ރާއްޖެއަށް ދީފައިވަނީ 3 ނޮވެމްބަރު 1988 ގައި. އެއީ ވެސް ބާޣީން. ތިއީ ވެސް ބާޣީން. ޑރ. ވަޙީދަކީ ބޮޑު ބާޣީ. ނައިބު ރައީސް ކަމުގައި ހުރެމެ، ބާޣީންނަށް 2011 ގެ ސެޕްޓެމްބަރު މަހު ހިލާލީގޭގައި ބައިޢަތު ހިފުމެކޭ، ޢަބްދުﷲ ލުޠުފީ އާއި ސަގަރު ނާސިރުމެން 1988 ގެ ޖޫން މަހު ސިލޯނުގައި ތަމަޅަ ޓައިގަރުންނާއި ހިފި ބައިޢަތެކޭ ތަފާތެއްނެތް!

  13. The decision to remove Selvam should have been taken months ago, and it would be too embarrasing for the CMAG to admit they were wrong at this point.


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