Government questions Nasheed’s eligibility for former president privileges

The President’s Office has raised questions over former President Mohamed Nasheed’s eligibility for constitutionally-provided immunity and privileges.

Article 128 guarantees “the highest honour, dignity, protection, financial privileges and other privileges” to any person who has served in the office of the president and stepped down without committing any offenses.

However, President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza said Nasheed’s eligibility was in question since he had not completed a full-five year term. Nasheed resigned in his fourth year of office, an act he later claimed was “under duress”.

Riza pointed to Article 3 (a) of the Former Presidents’ Immunity and Privileges Act, which affords a monthly allowance of RF 50,000 (USD 3243) for a president who has served one term, and Rf 75,000 for a president who has served two terms (USD 4864).

Riza said the clause specifies that a president has to complete a five-year term in order to be eligible for financial benefits.

But Nasheed’s former Legal Affairs Secretary Hisaan Hussein said the constitution overrides the Former Presidents’ Immunity and Privileges Act, and said Nasheed had a “right” to immunity and privileges.

Further, Article 12 of the Immunity and Privileges Act, interprets former president to be one “who stepped down after completion of term or resigned from office” without committing an unlawful act, she noted.

Even if the government’s concerns were valid, a full term is specified only with regards to financial benefits, and not in clauses relating to accommodation allowances, health care coverage, security, and travel arrangements, she said. Yet, except for the provision of security, the government had refused to extend any privileges to Nasheed, Hisaan said.

Riza said President Waheed had only arranged for Nasheed’s security “through special privileges afforded to the President.”

International bodies have expressed concerns over Nasheed’s safety, after Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed issued a court order for Nasheed’s arrest following Nasheed’s resignation on February 7.

The Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) had held Judge Abdulla in military detention for three weeks prior to Nasheed’s resignation. The order was never acted upon.

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) summoned Nasheed on Wednesday for questioning regarding his role in Judge Abdulla’s detention.

Riza said the President’s Office has now requested legal advice from the Attorney General Azima Shukoor on providing immunity and privileges to Nasheed. “As soon as we get legal advice, we will proceed,” he said.

Minivan News was unable to contact Shukoor at time of press.

In addition to monthly financial allowances, the Former Presidents’ Immunity and Privileges Act provides for a monthly accommodation allowance up to Rf 50,000 (US$3243). The President and his/her spouse are also entitled health care coverage, security and travel assistance.

Further, if a former president wishes to conduct charitable work, the act allows for an allowance of Rf 175,000 (US$11,349) to cover overhead costs.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who served as president from 1979- 2008, set up the nonprofit Maumoon Foundation in 2010. The organisation’s stated aims are to assist the poor and needy. It awarded nine scholarships for higher education abroad in 2011.

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23 thoughts on “Government questions Nasheed’s eligibility for former president privileges”

  1. I say again, that is an admirable goal!

    Nasheeds devious and relentless attacks on the true religion of Islam, the divine force of which has for 800 years preserved the bonds of love and unity amongst and the prosperous condition of our citizens, and his deplorable bullying of those upstanding men such as Ablho Ghaazee, who was ever vigilant in upholding the tenets of our dheen, the dignity of our citizens, and the modesty of our women, cannot go unpunished.

    I urge all Maldivians to desist from violence, and to pledge allegiance to President Waheed, may Allah be pleased with him, as he has become a man of great stature amongst the Muslims, for he has revealed himself to be lofty in knowledge and pious in charachter.

    I wish him success in his efforts in repelling injustice and quelling the insolent attacks of those wicked men and women, who clothe themselves in yellow and know no religion; may the wrath of Allah striketh at them and put terror into their wicked hearts! Amen! Alham-du-lillaah!

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  2. @Dhivehi Hangurama

    ..and you call yourself a muslim? amazing!!!...you are the reason why islamaphobia has risen so much - such malicious & evil thinking ..perhaps you are not well versed with our beloved Prophet Mohamed's (pbuh)hadith's/saying, if you were you would not put such wrath on anyone- & would have learned to your control temper.

    Calm down - think about these beautiful & wise sayings:

    Beloved Propht Mohamed(pbuh) said:
    1.The exercise of religious duty will not atone for the fault of an abusive tongue.

    2. A man cannot be a Muslim till his heart and tongue are so.

    3.Whoever hath been given gentleness, hath been given a good portion in this world and the next.

    4.Whoever suppresseth his anger, when he hath in his power to show it, God will give him great reward.

    Start practicing what you preach..if you want others to be good muslims, i guess the best place to start is by amending one's own way...enjoy!

    May Almighty Allah bless everyone & esp. all those seeking the truth!

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  3. Incomprehensibe!
    Nasheed allowed Gayoom to retire in peace and dignity despite all the rivers of dirty money and blood on his hands. This new/old regime is evil personofied.
    ELECTION NOW - LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK!

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  4. The Hyenas are coming out to try it on President Nasheed! No matter what; Nasheed is the president. The other is a waheedo-hooligan!Who gave waheed the mennace any power?

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  5. Advise from Azima Shukoor eh? Foxes are in charge of the hen house! Hello?

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  6. I'm sorry?! How is this completely biased report considered journalism?!?

    Abdullah Mohamed was NOT the judge who issued the arrest warrent for Anni!!! The guy is on some type of Administrative leave! See, this is what happens when Eva's sister-in-law is writing for Minivan news!

    BLATANT LIES AND MISINFORMATION!<- It's okay, we all know that'S MDP's MO now.

    I used to have respect for minivan news. Now its trash.

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  7. With this I think the need to clarify whether Nasheed is still the president or not has increased.

    Our constitution very clearly says former presidents are entitled to receive the constitutionally-provided immunity and privileges only when they have served at least a 5 year term.

    Nasheed has not served for 5 years as the President.

    Nasheed does not recognise the new government. He believes he is still the President.

    If Nasheed is still the president, why give him what is entitled to former presidents?

    If Nasheed is not the president, he will not get the constitutionally-provided immunity and privileges because he has not served a 5 year term.

    Simple!

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  8. what the hell is this about ? Nasheed does not deserve a penny from the public money and he has ruined our nation and our economy.

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  9. Dhivehi Han'guraama, You are wrong. The religion I follow, Islam, says religious freedom should be there. It says any human being has the right to choose. Islam is the most benevelont religion, but, you guys CHANGE it according to your whims and fancies.

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  10. "But Nasheed’s former Legal Affairs Secretary Hisaan Hussein said the constitution overrides the Former Presidents’ Immunity and Privileges Act, and said Nasheed had a “right” to immunity and privileges"

    Immunity & priviledges can be given to a former president if Nasheed behaves like one.

    If Nasheed is terrorising this country his only immunity & priviledge will be behind bars and no other place.

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  11. @ mari
    then dont read it and succumb to a bitch fit!
    @ zaheena
    maumoon served this country from 1978 - 2008. Dont even minus one year from those horrible autocratic 30 years of his rule..pls correct it. thanks

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  12. Mr Riza had better read the Clause 107(b) of the Constitution. It says if the Vice President succeeds the President for any reason during the term his tenure will be counted as a presidential term if the time left was of two years.

    By implication, therefore, if a person has served three years as President he will be considered having served a presidential term. Thus, the constitutional law is very clear about it. Nasheed is entitled to all benefits to a former President under the law.

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  13. this previledge act was designed and passed through parliament for Maumoon when he lost power. It should be abolished completely. Presidents are given their deserved salaries and through corruption and other means they have enough to live a decent life, we all know that.
    Its an easy money-making scheme the upper class has executed, without any consideration to countries financial status or wellbeing of citizens of this nation. Presidents who deserve respect and security will be given. you can't legislate security and respect.
    If maumoon or anni served well to their people (us the citizens) they will be respected and no one would harm them. they have enough money and i would suggest better use those 200'000rf to provide clean water to the 52%of the population.
    if there is anything i hate, its personality cults and this scheme is just that.

    I respect Nasheed with all my heart, but i don't think he NEEDS all that money and previledges.
    as for Maumoon, he should be tried for all the crimes he committed in his 30 years of autocratic rule before we talk about special previledges.

    You will see the hypocracy of all this when the same people who are talking about constitution now, demands presidential previledges for Waheed when his brief moment ends.

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  14. The Hyenas and foxes and dogs are chasing the monkey. Monkey got scared and 'flew' away.

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  15. How come Maumoon who never has been President under this constitution are given his dues as Former President.

    This government is not only blind leading the blind but also betrayers leading the betrayers.

    Absolutely no sense of justice and mindless revenge

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  16. Azima AG will say Nasheed has served full term and therefore entitled to allowances and pension.
    Finance Ministry will provide Nasheed with the money.Have patience,you one-sided writer and Nasheed lover.

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  17. Nasheed should be giving privileges to the constitution,after all he declared himself superior to the constitution! Keneryge Mohamed Nasheed dosent deserve a penny because he enforced a "self-coup" on the people of the Maldives by hijacking the constitution.He had to be ousted from office by any1 who derived any power from the constitution as he was a disgrace to the office of the president and jeopardized the whole system by disrespecting and failing to safeguard the constitution.If he wanted any reform he should have carried it out through the elected parliament and should have respected the order and functions of the democratic institutions as authorized by the constitution defining the concept of separation of power.
    If any person violates the constitution by misusing the powers given to any position or office of the state,in any way, any authority or institution that derives power from the constitution has the right to act against(or refuse to obey) that person.that includes the police force and the defense force!because it is not Keneryge Nasheed they have to obey-it is the law-i.e.Rule of law(supreme law is the constitution).What they have done in collaboration with the opposition has to be hailed n not condemned by any1 who knows anything about how a democratic state functions!Nowhere in the constitution is it mentioned that a PERSON elected by the people to the position of the president or head of the executive has any authority to overrule the functions,composition or power of any other principle institution provided by the constitution.The role of the executive is to GOVERN ACCORDING TO THE LAW.The moment he goes against any act of the constitution he becomes a dictator and democracy is lost and along with it all the votes of a democratic election.

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  18. @mode
    You are deluded, look at Gayoom's ridiculous palace, that hideous yacht and his bank balance. Throw Yameen in and you have an economy that has been raped by the former dictatorship, which is now back!
    Democracy, freedom and justice is dead now.
    ELECTION TIME, LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK.

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  19. I am assuming that the security guards that President Nasheed has with him are part of the privileges. On the 8th of February just before the police attacked Nasheed the guards were withdrawn. I guess better not have such privileges to be withdrawn when he needs them most. Anyway part of the reason to keep the security guards is so that Naazim the Defence Minister can keep a tab Nasheeds movements.

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  20. @Niyasa, you say you are a Muslim if so do you wish to choose another religion - if you dont wish to choose another religion then why you need religous freedom

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  21. You speak the truth Mohamed! Niyasa is probably an agent of that most loathsome being, shaitan himself! To claim that she is a beliver in the true religion of Islam, whilst demanding the freedom to change to a false religion is depravity of the highest order!

    Alas, such is the condition of our women, who know no shame or decency!

    I call upon fathers and husbands and our illustrious new president, Dr.Waheed, may Allah be pleased with him, to discipline and silence the incoherent ramblings of our women, and instead guide them to the path of modesty, chastity and virtue.

    And these tyrants who want to impose religious freedom upon us, must be rounded up, and garrotted on the spot!

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  22. good political move from president Anni : putting the facts on the table of the illegal "government". Seems some stupid people - and bagees of course - fail to understand tactical moves : the military regime will prove itself again how undemocratic they are. No issue.
    These calls are politics - which will not work anymore. As said by the regime themselves : no elections because we dont have the numbers. First eliminating opponents : jails, cracking biz, destroying houses, looting the same houses, intimidation, threatening, violence, attacking ... just waiting for the next one to be murdered by the same regime again.

    We dont need talks anymore. We go for RESISTANCE, FIGHT THEM BACK.

    They justify by calling for Allah - saying all happened for the good ? Then all protest happens for the good. Then a contra-coup will happen for the good. If all means are justified for a coup, same and any means are justified against a coup
    Allahu Akbar - out with the military regime

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