Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) Ibrahim Shareef yesterday accused former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed of planning to murder members of the December 23 coalition during the unrest that led to Nasheed’s resignation in February.
“President Nasheed’s evil and dangerous plan has now been revealed to the people,” Shareef has been reported as saying.
MDP International Spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor called the claims “outrageous” and “irresponsible politics”.
Speaking at a coalition press conference at the Nalahiya hotel, Shareef said it was the presence of the police during the night of February 6 that thwarted the aims of those hired by Nasheed to kill members of the coalition.
The group, named after the December 23 protests, purportedly held to defend Islam against the policies of the Nasheed government, consists of former opposition parties and religious NGOs.
Shareef’s accusations appear to refer to the period during the night of February 6 when December 23 coalition and MDP supporters faced off at the artificial beach area with only a police line to separate them.
Shareef was unavailable for comment at the time of press.
A timeline chronicling the events that led to Nasheed’s eventual resignation on February 7 was released by the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) last week. The timeline was translated by Azra Naseem.
The CNI has recently been reformed following widespread concern over its impartiality and independence.
President Waheed announced that the reforms, which include the introduction of a Singaporean judge to act as co-chair and the inclusion of a Nasheed nominee, Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, would be completed by June 15.
Despite the impending resumption of the CNI’s work, the commission’s original members decided to release a report based on their investigations so far.
This report claims that both the Home Minister at the time, Hassan Afeef, and then Nasheed himself ordered the Police Commissioner to remove the police from the area (sections 29 and 32 of the report).
The timeline went on to say that officers on the ground told both Afeef, who then told Nasheed that the “atmosphere was not good” (section 30).
Nasheed is then said to have repeated his request to remove police from the artificial beach area on the night of February 6 (points 34 and 40). This request was refused by officers in the area who insisted that they be replaced by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) (point 38).
The replacement MNDF forces were then asked to step down, according to the report, before violence erupted between the opposing protesters (points46 and 48).
Shareef suggested that these points prove Nasheed’s intentions.
“I’ve said this because Nasheed did plan to murder the members of the December 23 coalition. He hired people to carry out the murder and then ordered the Police to fall back,” Shareef is said to have told the press.
Shareef also alleged that Nasheed had planned to create conflict between the police and the MNDF in order to instigate bloodshed that would result in foreign interference in the Maldives’ internal affairs.
The CNI report provided little detail regarding this accusation, stating only that the leader of the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Dr Hassan Saeed, had received reports that the Indian Military were preparing to intervene.
“Deputy leader of the Qaumee Party announced to the public at the Republic Square that Dr Hassan Saeed had received assurances from the Indian High Commission that Indian military will not be coming to the Maldives,” read the report.
Ghafoor said that Shareef’s claims were completely without evidence.
“He should have been more careful and directed his accusations to a serious and credible report,” he said.
“We must remember that Shareef likes to get attention – nobody takes him seriously,” added Ghafoor.
The MDP released the report of its own investigations into the events on Saturday. Prior to its reformation, the MDP had refused to work with the CNI.
The MDP’s version of events had claimed that opposition figures were had plotted the overthrow of the government with the help of a police and army officer protest from as early as September last year.
The report claimed that coup conspirators then engaged in concerted efforts to cultivate an atmosphere of unrest and to conscript willing agitators from within the security forces.
The report names numerous figures within the security forces, including current Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and Police Commissioner Abdullah Riyaz.
Government Spokesman Abbas Adil Riza described the release of the report as “terrorism” whilst the MNDF today threatened legal action against “those who make false claims about the Maldivian military, issue reports, and act in ways that causes loss of public confidence in this institution.”
Meanwhile the MDP have interpreted the CNI timeline as indicating that there had been a coup and that President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan should therefore resign.