“Democracy must be restored in the Maldives,” Nasheed tells US media

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s promotional tour of the US media for the Island President continued over the weekend, including interviews with the Washington Post, Salon, and the Huffington Post, among others.

The interviews follow Nasheed’s appearance last week on the Late Show with David Letterman, and address to Colombia University. The recent political instability in the Maldives has been as much a topic in many of the interviews as the wider environmental threat highlighted in the Island President, and the media has been quick to draw parallels.

The first half of the film gives a political backdrop to Nasheed’s own political rise – and imprisonment.

“It is very important that democracy be restored in the Maldives, and we hope that friendly governments understand the necessity and the need for it,” Nasheed said, in a Q&A with Salon. “As we see it now, I’m afraid the government there is going to all sorts of places. Certainly it’s not going democratically, and we need to bring it back.”

Asked by Salon if he believed Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s government would pursue tackling climate change to the same degree, Nasheed said “They can’t. You must have a high moral authority to address climate change. Every time you start speaking, you know, you can’t be answering back to the skeletons in your own closet. So it’s not going to be possible for them to articulate in the same manner as a democratic government. I don’t see it happening.”

There was, Nasheed told the magazine, no policies or political ideology behind Gayoom and the former opposition coalition.

“[The] ideology is xenophobia and racism. All the rhetoric against Israel and the West, calling everyone a heathen. It’s really narrow-minded and intolerant and nationalistic. This is an island mentality as well, but it’s possible to change that. It’s not the people who have that mentality but the ruling elite, who want to suppress the people through that narrative, that rhetoric,” Nasheed explained.

Nasheed also met with the US State Department. Recounting the meeting to the Washington Post, Nasheed said: “the whole issue centred around the restoration of democracy in the Maldives, and how it was very important to get the country back on track, and how the US government may assist in doing that.”

“We were encouraged that the US government willing to listen and see how they may be of assistance to democratic progress in the Maldives,” Nasheed said, adding that the State Department had shown a willingness to reassess the situation as new information emerged.

“The US government was of the view that elections were necessary – they had reservations in the past, but main focus of conversation was that whatever their viewpoint in the past, they were willing to assess situation on the ground as it is now.”

Gayoom denies allegations

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom has meanwhile brushed off the allegations made by his successor regarding his involvement in the coup.

Gayyoom in a press statement released yesterday after Nasheed had made remarks to the US media, stated that he had not attempted nor took part in any type of attempts to unlawfully topple the government of Nasheed.

However he acknowledged that his party, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), had participated with thousands of people who raised concerns over Nasheed’s unlawful and unconstitutional actions and his efforts to distance the Maldivian people from their Islamic faith.

“For that purpose, PPM had participated in the protests that were organised by several political parties and NGOs. That [protesting] is a legal and a democratic right for the people to ensure accountability of the president and senior officials of his government. It is also an obligation on the citizens as well,” Gayoom claimed..

Gayoom also expressed his confidence that the events that unfolded on February 7 was not a coup d’état: “Therefore I can confidently say that the allegations that Nasheed is making, regarding the transfer of power that took place on February 7 was a coup d’état or a revolution, and that I was involved in it, are completely absurd.”

Gayoom issued the press statement in particular response to Nasheed’s appearance on Letterman.

During the show, Nasheed said Dr Waheed’s regime, is the “old dictatorship that we voted out of office”.

“Gayyoom is back in the country, his children are in cabinet, he is in power. Dr Waheed is just a facade.” Nasheed said.


18 thoughts on ““Democracy must be restored in the Maldives,” Nasheed tells US media”

  1. If he is not involved why his main torturer Fairooz and others similar in Police are immediately promoted. There is no dought dictator Maumoon has planed coup d'état. As Nasheed has said we did get rid of dictator once and we will do it again.

  2. As usual Gayyoom is a big liar. We saw what happened and we saw who is involved and who is promoted. So this speaks all about who is run the show from behind the screen.

  3. Israel Israel Israel... What is wrong with Anni anyways. Why cannot he say something else? The whole world despises this racist country and yet a leader of muslim country is begging for their support. Has not time arrived for MDP robots to reflect? Don't think about ppm or drp for the moment. Think about the person who is advocating closer ties with a racist criminal state! That shall be enough.

  4. Nasheed is the president who have "SLAVED" the democracy in Maldives, he wants to put his hand over the powers of Judiciary. He have the security forces Unlawful orders. Nasheed is a big liar who is giving the Media a wrong information.

  5. the first democratically elected president of the Maldives is Mohamed Nasheed. It cannot changed.
    Gayoom is a culprit and since Feb 7, Maldives is a military state. Maldivian media is fully controlled by gayoom's cronies. sham on them...........

  6. There are several Muslim countries who have diplomatic relationship with Israel. Egypt Turkey and Jordan. Are we different types of Muslims? There is no where in Quran or Hadees to calling for Muslims to avoid Jews. By the way in Israel there are 6 million Muslims too. Stop this Israel bashing.

  7. We are back exactly where we were 4 years ago. Gayoom is a proven liar and his cronies want us all to behave like morons to allow them to help themselves to the country.
    Remove this brutal dictatorship now!

  8. What a lying, evil, greedy, brutal man. 30 years was not enough for this greedy man. He is 80 something...and he still wants more. Should he not be retiring and repenting for the blood on his hands. Ofcourse, you knew about coup, you planned it and executed it with your cronies.you are back in the maldives, brutalizing us again. You are the most evil as they come. I hope your end is near and may you suffer for all the pain you have caused us all. I detest you. You are an evil evil man.

  9. Democracy was restored on 7th Feb by the people power. Nasheed has proved to the people Wearing a democratic hat can still become a dictator.

  10. The so called coalition of parties and this government cannot even conceive anything beyond Gayoom's mentality of governance - fool the people, rule the people

    MDP is bad because the party is educative and enlightens common people and delivers to the people what the Gayoom and cronies could not even imagine for Maldives.

    Elections sooner or later will be doom's day for the ururpers of people's power. They are damned at the very beginning and cursed till end.

    MDP is not the saviour of today for the Maldives but future as well. All youth should stay on and engage in activism to bring back the people's government.
    God bless Maldives

  11. total recall:
    Ilham the PPM MP went on TVM on Feb 7th night and said every move and every action was closely monitored by Maumoon. And they were acting on the instructions of Maumoon, and that he was in constant contact with Maumoon.

    "That [protesting] is a legal and a democratic right for the people..." oh oh.. MDP were protesting on Feb 8th and yet Maldives Police attacked them with a vengeance.

  12. Maumoon should be taken to court for not telling the public his real name, Abdullah Maumoon. Check the College he studied in Sri Lanka.

    Maumoon must be taken to court for not telling the public his real age. He is over 80 and he still still says he is 74.

    Check Abdullah Hameed's official age. Maumoon's younger brother is older than Maumoon.

    Maumoon has deceived the public.

  13. Of course Democracy must be sustained in Maldives. But the way to sustain democracy is through democracy alone and not through a dictatorship or going outside of the Constitution no matter what.

    This was the problem with Anni. It was always HIS way or NO way.

    Now Anni must be entirely responsible for the resurgence of Gayoom. A lot of people fought against Gayoom but now Anni has let him come back in.

    It is pointless blaming Waheed or others for this. It was entirely due to Anni that this situation rose.
    If Anni did not violate the constitution and if he had governed wisely and justly without arresting people at his whim, without getting the mob on the street, without giving resorts to his supporters, without giving bids of millions of dollars to his cronies, and countless other stuff, Gayoom would not have been able to make an appearance.

    A lot of Maldivians have something called blindness. It is that they follow a cult figure without asking questions. We saw that for 30 years with Gayoom, then we saw it with Anni and now we are seeing it with both Gayoom and Anni.

    May the Almighty Allah save Maldives from people like Gayoom and Anni.


  15. Maumoon is not some kind of monster from hell. He is one of the most intelligent Maldivians to be birthed in this nation and a strong leader who held on to his position for 30 years.

    What his regime reflects is the weakness of institutions to uphold public interests by constraining the powers of those in government. We had failed to ensure the strengthening of institutions before electing Nasheed who of course turned out to abuse his powers without the proper checks in place to keep the President on a shorter leash.

    We have an opportunity now to lobby for strengthening our Parliament, our judiciary, our independent institutions, our law enforcement officials, our civil society and our own awareness levels. Let us ignore the voices that advocate for returning their favorite mascot to the Presidency for their own personal gain. Those of us with no access to politicians and their clans must call for stronger institutions to protect our interests.

  16. Of course Gayoom is one of the most intelligent people in Maldives. Otherwise he would not be able to be a dictator for 30 years. That does not negate the fact that he was a brutal dictator for 30 and the result of what is happening now in Maldives is because of him.

    It is his refusal to groom a good successor that made way for people like Anni to become a President.

  17. Gayyoom this, Gayyoom that. Why don't you all go marry Gayyoom huh? Since ya'll are acting like you're married to him and knew exactly what he did in his 30 years of rule when honestly, most of you were not even born before he came to power! I almost feel bad for you but frankly my heart cannot show any love for people who can't move on. I suggest you guys check if you have Gerontophilia cuz frankly I think you do.


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