Comment: He is not my President

There are few individuals who have lost as much goodwill and respect of democrats in as little time as Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik.

Among them was his own brother Naushad Waheed Hassan, the former Deputy High Commissioner of the Maldives to the UK, who handed in his resignation letter following the February 7 coup d’état. In a statement, he said “…it is with a heavy heart that I have to say that this is indeed an illegitimate government and I cannot be party to it”.

Maldives Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, resigned live on air on Al Jazeera, citing “moral and ethical concerns” surrounding the transfer of power. Dr Farahanaz Faizal, the Maldivian High Commissioner to the UK, also tendered her resignation, saying: “They robbed the people of the vote and when I saw the brutality of the police… that was the final straw”.

Over 100 days later, tens of thousands continue to march in protest and express contempt for the man who undid the country’s first democracy.


It is hardly a matter of debate that what  transpired on February 7-8, 2012 was a coup d’état.

Indeed, the then Vice President Mohamed Waheed himself claims to have been watching the events unfold on national television as the country descended into chaos.

TV stations were played harrowing videos of police senselessly beating MDP leaders and supporters unconscious on the streets. We saw dramatic footage of police and military personnel, led by Dr Waheed’s brother, storming into and taking over the headquarters of the state broadcaster, as well as ransacking and destroying the MDP party campus.

Online videos show a former military colonel Mohamed Nazim (later appointed Defence Minister), demanding an ‘unconditional resignation’ from the first democratically elected President in the nation’s history.

An amateur video clip showed the alleged coup leaders holed up in the police headquarters along with a former policeman Abdulla Riyaz (who has since been appointed Commissioner of Police) and current Deputy Commissioner Hussain Waheed (who had earlier denied his presence at the scene), showed them hugging and celebrating. Gasim Ibrahim, the businessman leader of Jumhooree Party, was seen remarking that he was relieved it was over “without involving a military takeover”.

PPM Vice President Umar Naseer – a man renowned for speaking exactly more words than necessary – has publicly revealed the existence of a ‘command centre’ and openly boasted at a party gathering that the President’s life was on the line had he not resigned.

Indeed, Australian television SBS Dateline has aired devastating audio clips of an agitated President Nasheed pleading for the safety of his family in return for his resignation. In yet another leaked audio clip, Waheed’s own advisor, DQP leader Dr Hassan Saeed – has termed it a “unique coup”.

The brazen violence against MDP leaders by the regime forces, the arrest warrants issued against Nasheed less than a day of his ouster, and the subsequently leaked audio and video clips leaves no room for doubt that the first democratically elected President of the Maldives was made to resign under duress – in other words, an unambiguous, clear-cut case of a coup d’état.

There is simply no intellectually honest argument that can be made against this.

What remains to be seen is whether the perpetrators of the coup will face justice for their treason, and whether Maldivians will ever get to learn the finer details of the plot that overthrew their first democratically elected government – of how it was conceived, financed and executed.

Uncovering the facts

Whereas governments like India have spectacularly miscalculated their response to the coup d’état, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and EU have been more forthright about their demands from the newly installed regime – early elections, and an independent inquiry.

In what is essentially Napolean hiring a council of pigs to investigate the affairs at the Farm, Waheed put together a three-member ‘independent’ inquiry commission, two of whom served as Cabinet ministers in Gayoom’s former regime, to “investigate” the coup d’etat.

The Commission for National Inquiry (CNI) came under heavy fire from CMAG, which gave the government four weeks to reconstitute the panel to include international experts and a representative acceptable to the MDP, or face the consequences.

A lot of tantrums were thrown in retaliation, with prominent figures allied with the regime ridiculing the Commonwealth body, going so far as to accuse them of accepting bribes. One MP even introduced a bill in Parliament to withdraw from the Commonwealth.

Another MP, Riyaz Rasheed, offered his enlightened opinion that the UK was not, in fact, a democracy, and proceeded to mock the British Queen as “physically challenged” in a bizarre diatribe that would have earned most people a long vacation in a padded room.

Despite the alternating complaints and swagger, the regime finally relented with just a day left on the deadline and agreed to have a Commonwealth approved co-chair on the Inquiry Commission, and also gave an assurance to CMAG that a member nominated by President Nasheed would be appointed.

However, no sooner did the Commonwealth Special Envoy Sir Don McKinnon board his flight than the regime’s obstructive tactics were back in full force.

The regime rejected all nine names proposed by President Nasheed. Instead, Waheed’s Attorney General Azima Shukoor laid out the “conditions” that needed to be met by the nominees, including the demand that they should not have served in a political position in the past two years, and must not have taken a public position on a matter that has been at the centre and forefront of the national debate for over a 100 days.

And if Nasheed doesn’t find such a candidate in less than two weeks, the regime vows to unilaterally appoint a lawyer to fill the spot.

Rewinding the clock

With the delaying tactics in place, the regime has embarked on a series of steps to try and legitimise the power grab.

The government has already hired London-based PR firm Ruder Finn – for an assignment allegedly worth about US$300,000 – to rebuild their image in major Western countries.

Former Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed, once employed by Gayoom as the ‘reformist’ mask on the his brutal dictatorship, seems destined to forever keep applying lipstick to hideous pigs.

As Waheed’s ‘advisor’, he has been penning a series of articles in the local media, talking about ideals of democracy and state building – a rather weak and laboured point, coming from someone who continues to play lackey to an unrepentant, brutal dictator who has never faced justice for his three decade-long crimes.

The State TV channel, forcibly renamed ‘TVM’ by the vandals on February 7, continues to be known by its Gayoom-era moniker. Gayoom’s children and close associates have all found high ranking positions in the newly formed regime, which Waheed insists is a “continuation” of the former government.

Every major MDP policy – from decentralisation to regional development – has been either reversed or suspended. Boards have been reconstituted, organizations have been abolished, and even the ministries have been reshuffled to closely resemble their Gayoom-era counterparts.

Meanwhile, in another throwback to the despotic Gayoom era, the Waheed regime has engaged in systematically dismantling all avenues of dissent against his government using a heavy handed campaign of intimidation.

Following President Nasheed’s first public appearance following on the coup d’état on February 8, a massive spontaneous protest was crushed with unprecedented police brutality that drew condemnation from international Human Rights organizations like Amnesty International, as well as the local Police Integrity Commission. The regime-appointed Police Commissioner has announced that he will not investigate the mindless violence perpetrated by the police of those days.

After weeks of demonstrations calling for early elections showed no signs of abating, the regime sent in a cavalcade of military and police vehicles to forcibly evacuate and dismantle the protest site, while also rather conveniently recovering boxes of illegal alcohol once the media was out of sight.

In recent days, the regime has indicated its intention to yet again take over the protesters’ new camp, and also usurp the land from the MDP controlled Male’ City Council.

While he has stalled and delayed elections in any way he could, Waheed has been agile and and moved fast to reward the police service with a record number of promotions and has generously increased their headcount by a further 200 staff. He has also paid out generous lump sum awards for years of “pending” allowances to the military forces, in a move that couldn’t hurt his popularity among the uniformed forces.

Waheed has also appeared to be shoring up his Islamist support, sharing a podium with far right Islamist politicians and businessmen, rallying the ‘mujahideen’ behind him in a fiery jihadi speech delivered on February 24.

Waheed’s strategy of using tried and tested Gayoom formula of employing twin pillars of religious paranoia and military force to prop up the regime is increasingly evident.

It is starkly clear that the present regime threatens to rewind the clock back by a decade, undo every progress the country has made since the democratic struggle began long years ago, and return the country back to the hands of the same tyrant whose clutches we had barely escaped.

Every day that an election is delayed is yet another day that the old monster of despotism spreads its tentacles wider.

If the international community fails to make a firm stand to resuscitate the Maldives’ rapidly failing democracy, and ensure justice for the victims, then it will turn out to be an even bigger body blow to Maldivian democrats’ diminishing hopes than Waheed’s betrayal ever was.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


38 thoughts on “Comment: He is not my President”

  1. Dr Waheed dreamt of presiding the Maldivian republic. He could not have got the job legitimately through a ballot box and hence he has stolen it with the help of 'bandits' and jihadists!

  2. Bagge Gayoum and his corrupt cronies are behind this coup!

  3. It is irrelevant what Farahanaz Faisal and Abdul Ghafoor have to say pertaining to anything.

    With regard to the former, she is a woman. As for the latter, where were Mr.Ghafoor's ethical concerns about being the ambassador to Shaitan?

    I hope Mr. Ghafoor is aware that the United States of America finances and provides logistical support for the occupation of Palestine by the diabolical Zionist oppressor, may Allah (swt) curse them.

    Houses demolished. Little children buried under rubble. The wombs of would be mothers bludgeoned repeatedly. These are the scenes we witness!

    Do we have time to talk about democracy and coup-detats and whatever else while our brethren are being massacred!?

    Woe unto you, ye MalDeviants. Woe unto you, ye harlots! Do not think of democracy! Think of Palestine!

    You people repulse me. You should all be garrotted on the spot. Alhamdulillaah!

  4. Yeah we know.

    You would rather the Queen Elizabeth be your queen and you are a British Citizen.

    We know, dumbo.. we know..

  5. @Beyond the Grave

    "Dr Waheed dreamt of presiding the Maldivian republic. He could not have got the job legitimately through a ballot box and hence he has stolen it with the help of ‘bandits’ and jihadists!"

    I dream of garrotting you on the spot the next moment you utter such impertinent blasphemies!

    It is Nasheed that failed to do jihad against his own lust for power and his disposition to indulge in debauchery whilst befriending zionists.

    Sinners and deviants must be extirminated by all means available. This task must be pursued with even more zeal than that possesed by the zionist abomination as he proceeds to violate the dignity of our brethren in faith.

    How wrectched is their condition! Once again, I iterate: think of Palestine!

  6. Nasheed himself acted as a dictator! How many times did he act against the constitution? He should be tried along with Gayyoom...

  7. Very factual and straightforward. Sad that some comment without reading it. This article is about Maldives, not Palestine.

  8. nothing but pure propagenda and lies from a deranged self hating maldivian. no wonder this appeared on this MDP newsoutlet.

  9. Mald, the constitution of Maldives is unislamic. There is no reason for a muslim to obey the constitution of Maldives.

  10. @jj

    astounded that a self loving maldivian like yourself has time to visit the MDP nesoutlet when there are so many 'non' MDP newsoutlets.....

  11. But few pigs will ever know the Napolean...and the condition of this they are fed on the stolen milk trickling for this mongrels in Uniform.

  12. He may not be your president but he is definitely our president.

  13. @ funny
    This website goes by the slogan:- 'independent news from the maldives'.
    So any Maldivian can visit this place.
    If it goes by the slogan:- 'biased MDP news with islam bashing articles from maldives' I wont bother coming here. And honestly thats all this website is about.

  14. funny. i want more of MDP dramas. its better than watching 'Kashouty'.

  15. I totally agree with the writer.

    I might add that going by my memory of Maldivian history since the time of Mohamed Ameen, I believe that the people who stole the presidency of Maldives from MDP president Mohamed Nasheed will actually get away with what they have done in February this year.

    The Maldivian judiciary is remarkably silent and uninvolved in the political scandal. They should not be.

    Islands of Maldives other than the capital Male are completely isolated and impotent. The people in those islands are merely spectators. They are not fully citizens of Maldives.

    While Nasheed was being overthrown in February, my wife phoned me from her office and told me that there is a revolution going on in the Maldives.

    I connected myself to the news channels and confirmed to my wife that she was right.

    I confirm to you now, dear author, that I believe that you have spoken the truth and the Commonwealth must hear it.

  16. Nasheed (Anni) is not our president! He was our president when we elected him for an year term, but soon became a president of Mariya Didi, Rekko Moosa and the Boozing (heavy Vodka & wine drinkers) and openly objecting Islamic values on which society was based on! He showed his true colors after the last Council elections! We shall never Insha Allah elect him! MDP has lots of good citizens but these citizens need to wake up to the dirty politics Anni and his athesist group is planning for! Dr.Waheed is neither the right one, nor Yameen, Maumoon, Thasmeen..all of them are milder version of Anni with several immoral behaviour!

  17. True to the facts available. The end result expected by the Coup leaders was that the people will resign to the dictators reign of fear when nobody dared utter a word. That they could cover up all the evidence and hoodwink the intonational community as well. But times have changed. The people have started understanding values of democracy and will not give in to threats and torture any more. That they have overcome the fear of the dictator and his ways of intimidation.

  18. Truely a unique writeup by a young lad. thank you.

  19. coup leader waheed must step down unconditionally. gasim SHOULD be thankful there was no military take over. even now, people can only tolerate things to some extent. if we are going down, we are all going down. as umaru recently said, metal can be cut with metal. brutal, undemocratic system can be brought down in a similar fashion.

  20. i guess tomorrow its gona be a bad day ... just dont know why but everythings gonna turn worst . bagaavaai kuri iru nuvatha verikan vattaali iru visnaali baa ekakuves idhikolhugaves bayaku thibikan .. mee aharun ge dharin ves ulhen oi than .. muslimunnaa muslimunnaa hanguraama kuraaakah nujehey adhi bai bai kuraakah ves nujehey . kae men amihlayah thi halaakukurany ... varah dhera ekamu ley ohori meehun thakeh maruve gaumu halaaku vee ma visneyne . v dhera v v dhera

  21. Minivan is biased as always . Anyone who has a difference in opinion than Anni will not be accepted and will always be considered as non Maldivian. These are the principles that was followed during MDP regime and after the collapse of the regime.

    Now India also have become a traitor and was part of the coup. Any one who does not see what Anni want to see is blind.

    I have taken a step away from MDP for 1 years since Anni started to act like a dictator and there are many moderate MDP members like me who believes the same. But they all are silent because they can not find or do not believe that there is any party who are genuinely trying to .

  22. a bitter and very small mind. thats what is written all over yaamyn's aticles.

  23. this a class conflict more than anything else. burumaa, yameen, gangsters, champaa, jabir etc are the real enemies. the working class must rise. it is already too late. this is our land. our resources. and we should not settle for what ever they give us. we should take what is ours. we should not them live comfortably after taking our government and putting it in their pockets. warrrr!!!

  24. "It is starkly clear that the present regime threatens to rewind the clock back by a decade, undo every progress the country has made since the democratic struggle began long years ago, and return the country back to the hands of the same tyrant whose clutches we had barely escaped.

    Every day that an election is delayed is yet another day that the old monster of despotism spreads its tentacles wider."

    Ah young Yaamyn. Some of us had missed your presence on this forum - though assuredly it was not I.

    You have enough grasp of the english language to indulge in idealistic hyperbole delivered in ostentatious vocabulary. I'll concede that much.

    However, that is not good enough son.

    You do not have the political experience or academic expertise to proffer any kind of useful analysis on our politics. Nor the patience to wait for the conclusion of an impartial investigation before launching into your own "bizzare diatribes" against those members of the political elite that do not sign your paychecks.

    What kind of government would you rather go back to, boy? One that dangles its feet in the water and tells tall tales about rising sea levels while the working class Maldivian has to contend with the lack of: employment opportunities, adequate housing facilities or affordable basic-necessities.

    Enough of this democracy farce. It's time we returned to a government that prioritizes technocratic expertise over silly bourgeiosie freedoms that only drives a wedge between and antagonizes our society.

    For all your denigration of the likes of Qayoom, young Yaamyn, he was more of a patriot than you will ever be. Than Nasheed will ever be. Than those who still stick with the MDP banner, at this moment, will ever be.

    The Maldivian people have spoken and what they want is your silence.

    God bless the Maldivian people.

  25. @tsk tsk "Enough of this democracy farce"

    From an elected mp with an ngo for democracy.. lol. need some cash?

  26. @Mode

    Of course India was behind it.There is a lot out there suggesting Indian involvement. The Indian Navy frigate in Maldivian waters that quietly slipped in a few days before the coup and just as quietly slipped away away soon after President Nasheed resigned? Yamin at the Indian High Commission in the early hours of the morning of February 7. The many meetings of Mullay with leaders of those opposed to President Nasheed...and there is more. No doubt will come out in the wash at the CNI to be brsuhed inder the carpet most probably , what can we little Maldives do embarassing India ?... a deal will be made no doubt.)

    India cynically turned its back on the President who had given them more inroads into the Maldives than any ruler n the Maldives had given India.

    I believe India made a calculated move to back the parties opposed to President Nasheed because they wanted to protect the business interests of Indians in the Maldives especially that of GMR. India is not interested in the people of the Maldives. Just like the Borah business community, an elite Indian business community has been growing quietly in the Maldives, carefully nurtured by Ambassador Mullay.
    I believe the tipping point for them was the Court decision at Hassan Saeed’s request not to allow GMR to levy the development tax. GMR clearly leaned on Mullay to clear the way for them to do business in peace and to negotiate with those who opposed President Nasheed to withdraw their objections and attacks against GMR.

    Unfortunately for India, they did not anticipate the fury of the Maldivian people to the forced resignation of President Nasheed and the police brutality that followed. They did not gauge the rage of a people denied justice from the crimes and thefts of the Gayoom administration, having to stand by powerless as Dr Waheed appointed the children of Gayoom and all those who obstructed the delivery of Presidents Nasheed’s election promises to the people to positions of power .
    The clumsy efforts of Delhi to band aid the hole they blasted in President Nasheed's relationship with India was quite pathetic to see.
    Even more pathetic is the double game India is playing, giving handouts to prop his administration. Line of credit ... Oh yes, not a problem... here you are... be indebted to India, jump when they say jump.

    This is the second time India made a miscalculation with Maldives. In 2008 they predicted that Gayoom will win the 2008 Presidential Elections.
    I think it’s time India did something with their intelligence systems in the Maldives.
    They have no idea who we are and how deeply betrayed we feel about India. This wound is not going to heal. Who needs enemies when we have “ friends” like India?

  27. @Tsk Tsk

    What's with the "boy" and "son" crap, tsk tsk? Did you live in South Africa in the Apartheid times (as a white man/woman ofcourse)

    So much condescension and patronaisation in your comments. Do you really believe you inspire people with the crap you vomit on this blog?

  28. The above comment is not mine.

    Cleverly-constructed but obviously written by someone who holds my writing style in contempt.

    Democracy must be prized above all else and we must recognize that the Maldives did not become a democracy overnight on November 11th 2008.

    No one believe that the election of the ruling coalition of MDP, DQP, JP, QI and Adalat among other minor and insignificant players was a lasting and significant victory for democracy in our country. Far from it.

    The first issue with what happened in 2008 was the obvious conflict between the elections and our system of governance. The Elections Commission and our media allowed a coalition of parties to contest the elections without any regard for the Presidential system of government put in place by the Constitution.

    Once Nasheed, who contributed slightly above 20 percent from his party expelled the other two contributors DQP and JP headed by Dr. Hassan Saeed and Qasim Ibrahim respectively from his government, then the whole popular support base which the coalition government rested on was destroyed.

    This was naturally followed by an aggressive campaign of support-buying by the Nasheed regime. During these actions, the regime sidelined the much-needed efforts required to consolidate democracy in the country.

    A belligerent opposition retaliated in force after being handed the Parliament's majority by the people in 2009. They did everything in their power to legally obstruct the Nasheed regime from consolidating what became obvious as a power-grab rather than a sincere effort at democratic consolidation. However the opposition were no angels either and refused to allow key reforms that would have been more beneficial to the nation such as a smaller local government.

    The Nasheed-regime then went on a counter-campaign of intimidating opposition figures and dismantling networks which favored the regime's political rivals. Targeted attacks were carried out on businesses owned by the opposition while anyone willing to defect to the ruling regime was rewarded handsomely (refer to rumored bribing of several MPs including Ali Waheed, Alhan Fahmy, Qafoor et. al.).

    The opposition found common ground in December last year to launch a united front against Nasheed based on a religious platform calculated due to the regime's failure to convince the public of their religious credentials. Capitalizing on this weakness the opposition made several stands on issues where Nasheed and his regime would appear weak. This culminated in the 23rd December gathering in 2011 which managed to get out a record number of the public to express dissatisfaction with the Nasheed regime.

    The regime's reaction shocked even the most conservative estimates. Suspecting that the resort industry had sided with the opposition to replace Nasheed in 2013, the regime ordered the close down of spas in resort's after launching a damaging anti-campaign against those resorts in the international media. The regime used the international media's lack of engagement in the Maldives to their advantage making their act seem to be a response to public demands on 23rd December 2011 which were actually a call to close down establishments in population centers such as Male City suspected of engaging in prostitution.

    The Nasheed regime then announced their intention to use archaic laws in the 1967 penal code to arrest and convict those who "slander" the government. Their attempts to implement this complete reversal of democratic norms were met with opposition from the judiciary. The regime then tried to pressure the Chief Justice of the Criminal Court to give in to their demands. His refusal to back down then led to his illegal arrest and detention over the span of 22 days.

    Yaamyn is a propagandist for the MDP so I do not wish to argue facts with him. However for all of us concerned our democratic experiment began to fail since 2009 and what happened was the natural result of weak institutions and an insincere ruling regime hell-bent on exploiting international tolerance for the so-called 'honey-moon' phase of democratic consolidation where organizations such as the UN refuse to take a harsher stand on slip-ups.

    Nasheed's slip-ups however became too grave for most of our foreign partners and local institutions to stomach. Candy-coat however you will Nasheed failed and so did we as a people. What is left for us is to come together in the interests of trying to entrench democracy in our institutions and among our people.

    I will thank you Yaamyn for not stealing my moniker next time. However as it is an anonymous label there is nothing I can do if you decide to do so once again.

  29. that it Yamin Rasheed? haaaiiihhahahaah...heheheh...give us some more...hahahahahaha

  30. Betrayed. You name says it.

    You and your MDP cults have betrayed our nation and the dictator have betrayed us. He had robbed this country in three years and put us in grave where we won't be able to come out in another ten years time.

    Anni must have taken huge amount of money from GMR and then gave that assets to GMR with just a hand shake . U think that was a genuine deal.

    I doubt that for many reasons, One major being the abolishment of the board who opposed to sign the contract and then forming a new board and signing the contract within 24hrs of the appointment of the new board.

    The Chairman Bandhu was known for his corrupted deals way back from Bandos era and MTDC deal with Jaabiru . Bandhu would not be able to read the contract prior signing them ?

    You think that he signed after understanding the gravity of the deal ? I doubt that and he had signed because supreme leader Anni asked him to sign it.

    You will not find any fault in Anni and he is corrupted dictator and gathered all power to him and does not know what democracy is .

  31. I don't know the author of this article, "Yaamyn..."

    However, I have read many of his articles, both on here, and on his blog.

    I would just like to point out to those above who have accused Yaamyn of being an MDP propaganda man, or an Anni supporter, that, in many of his articles he has spoken against the actions of Anni and the MDP. I believe that he is not writing this piece to convince anyone that President Nasheed was not acting like a dictator, so those who have gone off on that tangent have missed the point. His concern seems to be, that his choice of Government, and the choice of the Maldivians, was taken away from the Maldivians through a coup. Yaamyn'n desire does not seem to be to empower Anni, or the MDP, but to empower the people of the Maldives.

    Believe it or not, there are Maldivians who are not part of the Anni cult who still wish for early elections for the sake of the Maldivian people.

    It is more genuine, to care for the people without belonging to the Maumoon cult, or the Anni cult, it shows the motives are refined, and, I like that! I have learnt a lot from Yaamyn, about being truly free, and I am greatful to yaamyn for that, thankyou Yaamyn, never stop writing!


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