On the 7th of February, 2012 the lawfully elected Government of Maldives was overthrown by a mutiny carried out by joint factions of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the Maldives Police Service. Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed was forced at gunpoint to write a letter of resignation addressed to the Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid.
Using the above mentioned letter that was processed under duress, was used as a pretext to usher in the then Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik to the President’s chair. Soon thereafter, Dr. Waheed appointed a new Home Minister, a new Defense Minister and a new Police Commissioner. It has now been revealed that these new posts are taken up by the leaders of the coup.
The self-claimed government of Dr Waheed is using the military and the police force to beat and arrest MPs and others loyal to the former government. This large scale crackdown on the members of Parliament and supporters of President Nasheed is continuing.
At the moment, the UN, Commonwealth and other bodies are trying to diffuse the situation.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the coup including Dr Waheed are using their newly assumed powers to suppress free media, conduct extra-judicial arrests and utilise the Criminal Court in issuing court orders for the arrest of President Nasheed and his supporters. We believe they are trying to wipe out the democracy movement by destroying the Maldivian Democratic Party.
As indicated by the popular uprising in the aftermath of the coup, a great majority of the Maldivian people do not accept the newly established government in power.
President Nasheed won the Election in 2008, after 30 years of autocratic rule by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. New President Waheed named ministers on Sunday who are almost all veterans of the government of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives for 30 years until Nasheed beat him in 2008 in a presidential election.
We believe that despite counter claims of Dr. Waheed, his move up from vice president to the head of state did not follow constitutional procedures after Nasheed was forced to resign.
We call upon citizens of all democratic countries to condemn this coup and to demand from the government of Dr. Waheed to hand over power to the Speaker of Parliament in accordance with the Maldives Constitution, until a free and fair election can be held. We also demand from the international community to conduct an independent inquiry of the process that lead to the forcible removal of President Mohamed Nasheed from office.
Help us save this young democracy, before the coup leaders and the mutinous military and police take back our democratic rights.
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