Former SAARC Secretary General calls for President’s impeachment as husband maneuvers party swap

Former SAARC Secretary General Dhiyana Saeed has demanded that President Mohamed Nasheed be impeached after alledgedly violating the constitution by detaining Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed.

Saeed’s statement follows her five-minute arrest last weekend for refusing to leave Republic Square during a nearby opposition-led protest.

Saeed recently resigned from her SAARC post after criticising the government after the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) responded to a police request to arrest and detain Abdulla Mohamed on January 16, after the judge filed a case in the high court to overrule his police summons.

Saeed, the youngest and first female to hold the SAARC post, demanded that parliament oppose the President.

Speaking to Minivan News following her resignation last week, Saeed said the judge “has to be dealt with within the confines of the law,” and identified his detention as “very clearly unconstitutional.”

“If you look at the how the government has acted these last three years you can see a trend. The government thinks any means to an ends is alright,” she added.

According to the SAARC charter, interference in the internal affairs of other states is a violation of the secretary general’s role.

Saeed’s statement was aired on opposition Jumhoree Party (JP) leader and JSC member Gasim Ibrahim’s television station VTV on January 19. Yesterday, Saeed’s husband and owner of J Hotels, Abdulla Jabir,  announced his switch from the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to JP, of which he is now deputy leader. Saeed herself remains a member of MDP, according to local media.

Saeed told local media that while her need to call for the President’s impeachment was regrettable, she maintained that her aim was to deliver a “strong message” disapproving of the government’s “direct attack on the state of Maldives”.

Suggesting that she speaks for a general public, Saeed told  media that even those who do not attend protests are opposed to the government’s actions, and vowed to not sit quietly on the sidelines. In response to the government’s criticism of her loyalty, she pointed out that no one was more loyal in politics “than was Chemical Ali to Saddam Hussein”.

She added that all Maldivians were obliged to defend the constitution, and maintained that her comments were “not for any political benefit.”

Saeed had not returned phone calls at time of press.

Under the constitution a president can only be impeached with a two-thirds vote from parliament. Parliament currently contains 77 members (MPs), 35 of which are aligned with MDP, 36 represent opposition parties and six are independent.

According to the President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair, Saeed’s request “is the wrong math. Even if all the opposition pulled together they wouldn’t pass the vote.” Zuhair added that the MDP has seen increasing public support in recent years.

Noting that Saeed is “not even a barrister”, Zuhair identified her call for impeachment as “just competitive political talk” which does not threaten the unity of the government. He added that her statement is a larger protective strategy currently employed by lawyers with close ties to JP leader, Gasim Ibrahim.

“You have to go to the chronological beginning,” Zuhair said, stating that Saeed, lawyer Azima Shukoor, Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muizz, and opposition Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP) leader Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed held legal posts under the former regime.

“These are all legal people – birds of a feather so to speak – pulling together to protect their past from exposure,” he said.

“Their interpretation of the law has not been consistent with the government; instead they are protective of the former regime,” Zuhair continued, adding that they had all denied defendants access to lawyers during the judicial process.

Shukoor has consistently defended members of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s family and new political party, Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM). Jameel, who served as Justice Minister under the former regime, recently accused the government of conspiracy with Christians and Jews to spread “vice” within the country.

“Gasim pays a maintenance fee for his lawyers – they receive a monthly fee for staying on his side,” Zuhair said emphatically.

Meanwhile, Abdulla Jabir explained his shift of allegiance last night on Gasim’s VTV.

“The President wanted to make this place into New York overnight,” he said. “It is a good thought but we have to do things based on the resources at hand. [But the President] does not listen to financial experts.”

After stating that the MDP had gained significant public approval, Jabir accused the President of overshadowing party achievements by trying to “destroy the system for his own benefit”.

“President Nasheed cannot be a hero again. He will be a zero. Nobody will respect him,” Jabir said.

Making reference to the government’s use of the military to arrest Judge Mohamed, Jabir warned that tour operators “are dismayed with the Maldives” and listed overspending, nepotism and uninformed financial decisions as chief grievances against MDP.

Jabir’s party change has not surprised the government.

“Jabir was more interested in protecting his business interests,” Zuhair suggested, adding that financial compensation “was a likely factor” in Jabir’s party switch-over. Jabir was recently awarded a mid-market tourism project in Laamu Gan Asseyri, part of the government’s new tourism initiative.

Zuhair said he believed the MDP party’s infrastructure had been “too tedious” for Jabir as well.

“In MDP you have go through various elections, starting with small councils and going up through the national council, in order to get to the top. Other parties don’t operate like that, I believe. The same night [Jabir] joined [JP] he was appointed deputy leader,” he said.

During his VTV address Jabir announced that a candidate from the JP would contest in the 2013 elections.

Swapping political parties in the Maldives plays much like a game of cards, betting included. Recalling Saeed’s resignation, Zuhair said Jabir had requested MDP “not to tarnish his wife’s good name. The next day, the couple was pushing to start their own political party – like  mum-and-dad shops in the UK,” he explained.


23 thoughts on “Former SAARC Secretary General calls for President’s impeachment as husband maneuvers party swap”

  1. Dhiyana, nana, much ado about nothing. No story here. We've heard it all before.

  2. "Suggesting that she speaks for a general public, Saeed told media that even those who do not attend protests are opposed to the government’s actions, and vowed to not sit quietly on the sidelines."

    Dhiyana please speak for yourself. I do not attend the rally and I'm not against the government. It's Ok to be ambitious and seek the highest office but wait for your turn. 2013 is not too far. Perhaps Jabir will let you mate with Gasim. Seriously do you want to run with him?

  3. As the saying goes 'Desperate times call for desperate measures.' isn't it Dhiyana. Only you will know what's at stake if Abdulla Ghazee can no more be a judge.

    Those who are protesting out there including yourself have an interest to declare. No Abdulla Ghazee = no Gasim, Jabir, Yaamin, Maumoon, Hameed etc etc.

  4. You've got it spot on, certainly the work of a good journalist, way to go Eleanor..Tks.

  5. is this a news report?
    seems like an article written by zuhair.
    shame on u propagendist elinor johnston.

  6. I digress, this is a bad effort at propaganda.

    A lot of the criticisms of Nasheed quoted here are reflected in assessments of the Maldives issued over the past three years. They resonate with the informed reader.

    Meanwhile Zuhair comes off as extremely petty and personal. A Press Secretary of all people should know how to deliver a balanced response without resorting to gossip like some old spinster.

    Politicians have self-serving ulterior motives for their public actions? This is news for whom? Surely everyone in the international community would breathe a sigh and what?

    The MDP should know better. They propositioned Alhan Fahmy from the opposition like a common tart off the docks of Liverpool. Meanwhile Ali Waheed was bought like a prize-winning hog trussed up by the DRP for his sale.

    Of course one should not forget Hassan Shujau and his brothers are famous loan sharks and swindlers in the fair city of Male.

  7. Where is Jaabir when his wife is getting rough handled? Is it a case of the husband being the woman? .. Jaabir. A woman ? Tks..

  8. I always wondered how Azima Shukoor won almost all cases she represented and thought wow, this lawyer must be good, now I am beginning to understand even I could win cases with these Judges.

  9. Former SAARC Secretary General Dhiyana Saeed resigned from the job because she was simply incompetent for that job and became the laughing stock in the SAARC circle.

  10. While it is occasionally charming that a woman thinks she posesses the intellectual faculties necessary for cogent analysis on the intricacies of domestic politics, such oddities are best left indoors within the domain of the household, where she can amuse her husband and sons with a cheerful and motherly perspective on the daily on-goings of our nation, as good women are so apt to do (as opposed to Dhiyaanas thoroughly unfeminine acrimony), without sacraficing her chastity, modesty and, most importantly, her duty of raising dutiful, God-fearing children; none of which "Dhiyaana Saeed" seems particularly mindful of. Which is a shame.

    May Allah (swt) guide her back into the light, put her in her proper station and save her from these foolish adventures. Amen.

  11. a common tart eh. is that what you opposition elites call him now? common. what a hateful, elitist word, common. you made him, and he stabbed you in the face.

  12. Zuhair is right in this instance. Jabir wanted to be the Chairperson of MDP and he failed in this. So he left.

    Actually can someone please tell us how many parties has Jabir joined and left from the time party system came into being. It is extremely difficult to remember this as he keeps changing parties like a parent changes a baby's nappies.

  13. If Dhyana was seriously concerned about our nation she would be calling not for the impeachment of the President but to change the membership of the Judicial Services Commission and the removal of those who have walked over us.

    I am not a lawyer, but even with my limited education I can see how deeply flawed our constitution is and how deeply flawed our laws are.

    For Dhiyana to call for the impeachment of the President without calling for the review of the laws that violate our rights as human beings and citizens is deeply disappointing.

    Dhyana, what value has your lawyers degree been to us as we have struggled through the minefields left in our constitution by the Gayooms supporters who dominated the majlis that drafted our constitution.

    Dhyana, where was your voice when judges were appointed to the JSC?

    Where was your voice when our justice system was being violated and our laws for judicial reform paralysed by the committees dominated by the opposition?

    Where were you when our mothers wept as the rapists of their children and the murderers who killed their sons and the drug dealers who killed their children were set free by this judge?

    Where were you when our women were beaten by their husbands and their husbands walked free courtesy Judge Abdulla Mohamed?

    If Dhyana wants us to take her seriously as a politician, then she needs to learn that the judiciary and the parliamant has to work for a country to move forward. Confrontations against the President just shows us her political immaturity and her hunger for power. A dangerous narcissistic woman we should stay away from.

  14. I hope Gasim want betray Dhiyana usually girls like are in danger when Gasim is around. Can't understand why jabir has to sell her. Probably the financial status is so weak & no other options available.

  15. Khadeeja, spot on! Anyone with a brain would know that the rights of the citizens of the country and the protection of the Constitution was the last thing on Dhiyana's mind when she resigned from her post. Her resignations are proving time and time again that she's just an incompetent girl, and that her loyalty lies with protecting her husband's illegal wealth. If she's so concerned about the law and people's right, why doesn't she first of all ensure that her husband pays back the money he owes to so many people? This party hopping Jabir is a loser and he can certainly forget about any aspirations to run for Presidency, if that's what he's thinking!

    Manik, you are right too! All these lawyers of the former regime are coming together for only one thing, and that's to protect their past! This is getting more and more interesting, one has to wonder about the extent of the "activities" that all these people have been upto, that they are willing to sacrifice our country to protect their ally in court!

  16. Dinaya why don't you pay the overdue salaries of the staff of the company owned by you and Jabir??? who is fighting for the rights of those employees who have not been paid for the last six months!!! I call Jabir and Diyana to pay the salaries of the staff immediately and settle all the debts before you guys go out on the public just to protect the rights one mediocre Gaazee..!!

  17. Ms Dhiyana,
    You are among the handful of Maldivians to have been appointed to the top position of a regional organization. Very few Maldivian ladies have achieved this. In addition you are a Lawyer, a professional. While you have every right to protest or express your view it is important that you maintain your dignity and self respect. In my view it is your responsibility to maintain your actions and judgements reflecting your status.

  18. Dhiyana I am hoping that you have more substance than this. You sat at the Jumhooree Maidhaan last night and said you were doing that because Nasheed did the same. That was 2005 when we didn't have any of the freedoms we enjoy today. Now you have the freedom of expression. You should have backed him then.

    If you want to become a HERO (your husband's obsession) what you can do now is join Nasheed as he tries to clean up the judicial system. You, more than anyone else will know how corrupt it is.

  19. oh for the love of god... leave her alone.. she is fighting for what she believes is right... let her fight and let the best (wo)man win... frankly, there are too many of this kind floating around to care...

  20. Minivan may be pro MDP but a lot of comments here are not pro MDP. Most are independent comments.

    Most of them are correct. Now it seems that Nasheed did the right thing in arresting this Judge. Chairperson for JSC has already made the case for Nasheed in Majlis.
    Now what do the people who scream for this judge to be released say about this? The JSC is saying that they want to investigate him but he issued a court ruling that he cannot be investigated.
    That means he is above the law. How can a judge be above the law? For a start he is the first one to break the law. Not Nasheed. When the judiciary breaks the law, the only choice a Head of State has is to use the Military.
    I personally did not like the fact he used the MNDF but now with this new information from the JSC, I see that he had no other option but to use the MNDF.

    Dhiyaanaa, you have bought shame to Maldives. You were the first Maldivian woman to get such a high post and yet you had to resign to protect your husband's ill gotten wealth. Shame! You did not resign to protect judge Abdulla. Many a people have been arrested and in much worse cases and you never said a thing. No you resigned because with this Judge, your husband and many others are absolutely scared that the arm of the law would recover the ill gotten wealth.
    I also think your husband should join Adaalath and PPM too for sometime so that he has the absolute record of joining all the parties in Maldives.

  21. minivan does not print any sane, logical arguements which contradicts their prescribed agenda

  22. This was most stupidest decision by her. She is going to regret it. Under current politics in the country, she is going to have no more voice. Perhaps a mouth piece for her husband only.


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