Commonwealth suspends Maldives from CMAG, calls for “formal” investigation with “international participation”

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has refrained from declaring whether the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed was constitutional, but has called for a “formal” independent and impartial investigation with the involvement of international partners.

In a press conference held in London on Wednesday, CMAG noted the formation of an inquiry by the new Maldivian government, but said it “strongly felt that there should be international participation in any investigative mechanism, as may be mutually agreed by political parties in Maldives.”

Echoing calls from other international bodies including the European Union, the Commonwealth called on President Waheed and former President Nasheed “to commence an immediate dialogue, without preconditions, to agree on a date for early elections, which should take place within this calendar year.”

Such a dialogue, CMAG urged, “should facilitate the opening of the Majlis (parliament) session as scheduled on 1 March 2012.”

“This dialogue should lead to collaboration on the passage of the necessary constitutional amendment for the holding of early elections, as well as such legislation that needs to be passed to ensure peaceful, inclusive and credible elections,” CMAG stated.

CMAG further expressed “strong concern” at the ongoing arrest warrant issued against former President Nasheed, “and urged that this issue be addressed in order that his ability to participate fully in the electoral process is not prejudiced.”

Furthermore, “given the questions that remain about the precise circumstances of the change of government, as well as the fragility of the situation in Maldives, CMAG decided that Maldives should be placed on its formal agenda.”

The Maldives would no longer participate in the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group while it remained on the Commonwealth’s watch list, the statement added, however the country would not be suspended from the Commonwealth itself.

“The Group further agreed that, in line with the agreed parliamentary agenda and matters emerging from the dialogue, the Commonwealth should enhance its technical assistance to Maldives to help build capacity in such areas as the Judiciary and the Parliament, and that of the Elections Commission, as well as to promote adherence to democratic values and principles.

“In particular, it urged the Commonwealth to support the Elections Commission as well as to engage with all stakeholders towards ensuring the credibility and peaceful conduct of the next elections. It recommended the expeditious development of a code of conduct for political parties in the lead-up to the elections.”

Responding to questions at the London press conference, CMAG stated that the circumstances of Nasheed’s resignation “remain unclear to us” and said that “a more formal inquiry is needed, with international support.”

“Both parties have requested the help of the secretariat, and CMAG has made clear it is fully supportive and will lend what support it can.”

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) issued a statement on Wednesday evening “fully endorsing” CMAG’s recommendations.

“First, that an independent and impartial investigation of the events of 6-7 February should be completed in a transparent manner within a reasonable timeframe, and that there should be international participation in any investigative mechanism, as may be mutually agreed by political parties in Maldives. MDP notes that, unfortunately, Dr Waheed has already failed to comply with this recommendation,” the party said, referring to his appointment of two former ministers of Gayoom’s regime to the inquiry commission, including the former defence minister.

“Second, that key parties to the crisis should commence an immediate dialogue, without preconditions, to agree on a date for early elections, which should take place within this calendar year. The MDP remains ready to participate in serious discussions in this regard with other political parties that have a democratic mandate.”

“Third that such a dialogue should facilitate the opening of the Parliament session as scheduled on 1 March 2012, which should in turn lead to collaboration on the passage of the necessary constitutional amendment for the holding of early elections, as well as such legislation that needs to be passed to ensure peaceful, inclusive and credible elections. MDP believes securing such amendments should be the sole focus of the new parliamentary session. Other parliamentary business, including the annual Presidential Address, must be cancelled.”

“Fourth, the decision to appoint a Special Envoy to the Maldives, and the call for all sides to respect human rights and refrain from violence and incitement.”

The MDP further agreed with CMAG’s decision to suspend the country’s membership of CMAG “until such a time as the crisis is resolved and until a democratically-elected government once again holds office.”

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan meanwhile responded thanking CMAG for its recommendations, “recognising the challenges we face as a nation and the honest attempts of the National Unity Government to deal with them.”

“The CMAG recognises that progress will only be made if peace and harmony return to our streets, political parties put aside partisan advantage and put the nation first, all parties join in a genuine dialogue without preconditions.

“We have already established an Independent National Enquiry Commission look into the events surrounding the transfer of power on February 7. Clearly as it is independent it will be for them to decide if they wish to take up the generous offer of international assistance in its deliberations,” Dr Waheed said.


68 thoughts on “Commonwealth suspends Maldives from CMAG, calls for “formal” investigation with “international participation””

  1. There has to be 100% international control and partcipation in the investigation - the Maldivians have already torn themselves apart.

    This new government and old regime should then be voted out by the people, once and for all.

    Democracy is dead in the Maldives until the election. The tourism future bookings are terrible and we are no longer part of the commonwealth until this is resolved.

    The people that lost the last election are now running the country. Madness!

  2. I find it rather amazing that a lot of pro-MDP comments here seem to condemn @Yasir for being racist & insulting JJ Robinson while they themselves are doing the very same thing to others - insulting/swearing at Yasir, Maumoon, Jameel etc...isn't it a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Its ok as long as you do but no one else can do it, right?

    While i don't condone to insulting anyone in such vicious manners as some of the comments i have read, i must say that Minivan News should act like its slogan - Be independent!

    Please report news accurately & impartially without any propaganda for anyone including MDP, discrimination of Islam or twist words which is often misleading...
    please do not enforce western views & values on a society lead by eastern/Islamic values.

    I was taught that real journalism is timely, accurate/honest, impartial & so forth. Think of all the people you are influencing & informing - not work to rile up or instigate discontent & chaos.

  3. during maumoon's era we had experienced various types of democrayies, namely ,
    a,Excellent Democracy ( known as "FURIHAM DEMOCRACY" )
    b,Contemporary Democracy ( known as "ZAMAANEE DEMOCRACY" )
    c,Exemplary Democray ( known as "NAMOONA DEMOCRACY" )
    Then Mohamed Nasheed introduced A YOUNG DEMOCRACY not fully developed, in Nov 2008.
    Now on 7th Feb. 2012 Dr.Mohamed Waheed Hassan Maniku comsummated the democracy
    brought by Anni. Now what we are having is Matured Democracy "DHONVE FAKKA VEFAIVAA DEMOCRACY"
    How many other types of democracies may we, Maldivians experience, is yet to be realized.

  4. @Yasmine: u should also find it amusing that several Maldivians are twisting and turning the CMAG statement, making us believe everything is all hunky dory. but lets not forget because of whatever happened on 7th and 8th February 2012 has brought shame to this country. i am not being pro-MDP or pro-DRP here, i hope!

  5. Dear Yasmine,

    Pray tell us, using the superior knowledge of journalism you claim to possess, what part of this news report you find biased/partial, and designed to "rile up or instigate discontent and chaos".

    It's hardly the reporter's fault that the facts are enough to get people angry.

    Or did the journalism course you attended tell you to refrain from speaking the truth in case it made people angry? Which journalism course did you take? The one that Salaf conducted a week ago?

  6. @Ahmed
    I dont think Yasir's sentiments are Racist against JJ but merely a question of what is an englishman doing in the 'Maldives' working for a politically biased newspaper. Surely the English would also raise an eyebrow at a 'Maldivian' (who wasnt born or bred their and just moved to UK in the last few years) for writing highly politically biased articles about the UK. JJ was not born in the Maldives and has not lived there long enough for him to even remotely understand the complexity of thess situations. So my question is also aimed at JJ; In what capacity do you right these articles which lean mostly towards one agenda? What do you gain out of it?

  7. Slight correction in my post above.
    lets replace "Englishman" with "Australian", UK with Australia.

    You'll get my point either way.

  8. @ Mariyam

    The mind boggles at your ignorance! Have you ever heard of something called free movement of labour? Never heard of professionals in various fields moving from one country to another to work? Migration, emigration, expatriates...ever heard of those words? Many Maldivians work in the UK -- and Australia -- as doctors, lecturers in universities etc.

    Are you saying that Maldivian doctors should be expelled from these countries because the anatomies they are examining is not Maldivian?? Or should Maldivian lecturers be fired from their universities because they were not born there?

    No wonder the coup leaders are succeeding in convincing Maldivians that their seizure of power is a good thing. With people like you to govern, they can claim to be Gods if they wish.

  9. @Dhivesseh, totally agree with you. Mariyam seems to have been living under a rock, the only reason i can think of for such a high level of ignorance.

  10. THe trouble Nasheed is facing is, for him democracy is his religeon and Islam is a way of life.And he is ready to do anything for his religeon whateva he has to risk but for majority of maldivians Islam is their religeon and democracy is a form of government and they are ready to do anything for their religion!For the few that control the international community and media liberalism is their religeon and islam is an evergrowing menace, so they are ready to support nasheed.Solve the equation!

  11. As a foreigner, I find reading Minivan News is extremely helpful in gaining some info of what are happening in Maldives. Simply because I can't read it in Miadhu News and Haveeru Online...? At least, Minivan allows me to form my own judgement of what is true and what is 1/2 true or totally false.

    Thank you Minivan reporters for your courage! Keep it Up.

  12. Avahah inthikhab baavvan vee, dhen mi raajjeyge veri kamaa kuda beyru ves neyreyne, mi bunanee neyreyney..gina vegen eyna ah libeynee 35% vote e nimunee. mifaharu coalition hadhaigen olhuvaeh nuleveyne. Mi bunanee kuda beyruves neyreyney...
    Dhen addu hithakah hoadhaanamey, handhaan naththaalaa addu mathin. Maley kuraa vareh kurey ...e nimunee

  13. Nasheed is a democrat when out of power. When in power he arrests opposition leaders for lying and using the army kidnaps a senior judge.
    Where was the Commonwealth when Nasheed kidnapped the judge?
    Commonwealth led by UK did not think kidnapping the judge by Nasheed warranted any intervention. Now see what it has led to.
    Next time,Commonwealth take judge kidnapping seriously. This is the moral of the story.

  14. @Dhivesseh &@Nisha, 
    Call me ignorant but you have failed to understand  my question. Or rather maybe I failed to ask it in a way you may grasp it. I am not against the free movement of labour emigration, migration .  I have not said JJ should not be allowed to work.But show me a country where new immigrants (note the word 'new') have the right to vote, claim benefits or have a say in the resident countries affairs wether it be social or political.
    JJ can work as a journalist  but my question is what does he know about the political situation there,other than what has been fed to him in the last 5 years? Has he lived in the Maldives long enough to experience the real Maldivian sentiment? Is his capacity adequate enough to write such politically biased ( i am re-iterating again 'politically biased') reports. So my question is still rather valid. JJ why politics? Its like me going to Australia tommorrow and attempting to understand there parlimentary system and writing articles which lean to one side. Do you thinks the Australians wouldnt batter an eyelid? I dont think so.

  15. @Mariyam on Thu, 23rd Feb 2012 2:46 PM

    "JJ was not born in the Maldives and has not lived there long enough for him to even remotely understand the complexity of thess situations."

    I was born in the Maldives and I know full well what's going on here! There's nothing remotely complex about any of it. There's no contradiction to what I see and what JJ reports here. In fact, we agree totally! The only people who disagree with JJ are those who want to extinguish democracy here and who stand to gain from the illegal regime change that took place on 7th February.

    The CMAG group's wording is exactly this (

    "To this end, the Group urged President Waheed and former President Nasheed to commence an immediate dialogue, without preconditions, to agree on a date for early elections, which should take place within this calendar year."

    There is no disputing the wording used here. CMAG is calling for elections that "should take place within this caledar year"! This is what the majority of the Maldivian population demands too!

    It's quite clear Waheed is lying to the international community to keep them at bay. Just tonight, in an event that should be far removed from politics, i.e. on the occassion of the conversion of Maldives to Islam, this is what he had to say: the change that took place on 7th February was an act of mercy from Allah and was not a planned event by anyone!

    That doesn't sound like a man who has any interest in holding an investigation into the incident or who is even remotely thinking about elections. He is already convinced that Allah gave him the seat of power!


    for interest

  17. @ Mariyam,

    I agree with you. Australians, or any other country for that matter, would not want you writing about their affairs. As a Maldivian, I wouldn't 'batter my eyelids' if you started being a 'journalist', but it would certainly horrify me.

    Unfortunately, I have the sneaking suspicion that you already call yourself a journalist.

    Once again, I repeat my question to you: what in the above news report do you find biased? Enlighten us, please.

  18. It's true, we all joined our hands together for our nation and for our children and the next generation as well. Former president is smoothly resigned cos, he know that every thing he did was totally wrong when he's in power. It' not a coup.


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