Former President Gayoom to receive Maldives’ “highest honour”

The government has announced that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom will receive the country’s “highest honour” – the Nishaan Ghaazeege Izzaiytheri Veriyaa (NGIV).

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad confirmed to Minivan News that the decision to bestow former President Gayoom with the NGIV was approved at a cabinet meeting held yesterday (July 16). He stressed however that the timing of the award was not related to recent political events such as criticism of President Waheed by the Gayoom-led Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

According to Masood, previous recipients of the NGIV have included former Maldives President Ibrahim Nasir and present British monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

Gayoom presently serves as leader of the PPM, which is part of the coalition government and the second largest party in the country in terms of MP numbers.

While aligned with the government, the PPM has on numerous occasions in recent months publicly criticised President Waheed and some of his decisions as head of state. The party has most notably accused the president of using state resources to gain an unfair campaign advantage ahead of this year’s presidential election, as well as not listening to the advice of his coalition partners on key foreign investment issues.

The PPM confirmed earlier this week that it was yet to make a formal decision on whether to discuss retracting support for the coalition government, despite receiving a number of complaints from members about the conduct of President Waheed.

Bureaucratic system

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood rejected any suggestion that the decision to award the NGIV honour to Gayoom was related to the party’s recent criticisms of the government.

He said figures chosen to receive the honour were nominated by members of the public and then processed through the country’s bureaucratic system, before being forwarded to the cabinet for approval.

Masood added that very few dignitaries had so far been presented with the award, though he suggested that former President Mohamed Nasheed, who controversially resigned from government in February 2012 on the back of a mutiny by sections of the police and military, may also be in contention for the honour at some point.

“I hope and pray Mr Nasheed will one day get [the NGIV] as well,” Masood said.

Minivan News was awaiting a response from former Home Minister and current PPM vice presidential candidate Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed at time of press.

Not a “major issue”: opposition MDP

Responding to news of the honour today, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party said it did not see former President Gayoom receiving the NGIV as a “major issue” at the present time.  The MDP accuses Gayoom during his autocratic rule of numerous human rights abuses such as the imprisonment and torture of his opponents.

Speaking at a rally today, the MDP’s candidate for this year’s election, former President Nasheed, noted that the NGIV was traditionally given to figures in honour of efforts to protect the independence of the Maldives.

Although he questioned Gayoom’s role in protecting national independence, Nasheed said that as one the most prominent “elder statesmen” in Maldivian politics, the former president was an appropriate candidate for the honour.

Gayoom oversaw 30 years of autocratic rule in the Maldives, before losing to a coalition backing former President Nasheed in the second round of the country’s first ever multi-party democratic election in 2008.

The MDP has previously maintained that Gayoom has been a key figure behind the controversial transfer of power on February 7, 2012, which the party has claimed was a “coup d’etat.”

The allegations were rejected last year by a Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry.


11 thoughts on “Former President Gayoom to receive Maldives’ “highest honour””

  1. This is like giving awards to Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, Pol Pot, Stalin and every other dictator in history.

  2. Maumoon, deserves this.

    We now see first hand, the power plays in the politics, literally destroying the country. We have heard of historical anecdotes where back-stabbing in politics were rampant in Mordis.

    I applaud Maumoon, for the cunning, guts and wits in leading the country for 30y. On a balance, his contributions far outweigh his failures.

    I don't agree to a lot of irrational actions he executed especially those with no benefit to the country and just to save his own ass, but that is a fact of life in politics. As to why so long a presidency, I attribute it to our own stupidity, Mordisian ignorance, played a hug part in him being elected repeatedly.

    His actions since his exit from Presidency, is more of a continuation of efforts to manage to power-play squabbles of his family, which is his biggest failure. Hang on, is it a failure? Compared to history, where almost every one who led the nation was murdered, back stabbed...literally!

    But now, I would rather Mordis have a proper Parliamentarian system, where the decisions, law-making and execution can be critically reviewed for the flaws and rectified, instead of mindless chit-chat, our imbecilic parliament is engaged in.

  3. You can give him the NGIV, IVF, CCTV, HDTV etc. What does that change? Does that qualify to get an express ticket to those rivers of wine and limitless virgins in heaven?

    Nasir also held that NGIV. As far we are concerned Nasir was little more than a thief and a murderer. But an NGIV. What a load of bollocks.

  4. And here, is the final piece of evidence that this is indeed a coup.

  5. Shafeeg-ge Mr.Shafeeg has records of Maumoon behind the killings of 111 people.

    Saddam Hussain also received a lot of awards and medals.

    Islam says a person should be judged a fortunate person only after seeing the how the person leaves this earth.

    Nubai meehunge nimun annaanee nubai kon.

    Waheed wants to give this to Gayyoom for masterminding the coup and bestowing him the "moment" (as he so twittered)that Waheed could never otherwise dreamt of, in his wildest dreams. To become the President, at the expense of the people (literally) starving!!!


  7. @Mohamed on Thu, 18th Jul 2013 1:46 PM

    Nothing other than being an arrogant cunning bastard, cleverly manipulating a nation of ignorants for 30 years. I applaud him for that. I would rather a strong man lead the nation than a weakling who stumbles every other day!

  8. Such a slap in the face of the mothers whos children were murdered in custody.


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