Government rejects latest Nasheed appointee to inquiry commission

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) maintains a Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) is “on track” to commence its work, despite the government rejecting the latest nominee forwarded to represent former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The government has announced that the latest nominee, Lt Colonel Zubair Ahmed Manik, was not deemed fit to serve on the Commission. All of Nasheed’s previous nine nominees for the revised commission were immediately dismissed.

Lt Colonel Zubair was said to lack an “undergraduate degree as per the agreed terms of reference”, according to the government. The President’s Office told Minivan News today that it was unsure as to why Nasheed could not come up with a candidate “acceptable to the government and the people.”

The CNI was set up by President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan following the controversial transfer of power that saw him succeed Mohamed Nasheed into office on February 7. The now opposition MDP has alleged that Nasheed was forced to resign under duress in a “coup d’etat” staged by opposition politicians, businessmen and sections of the military and police.

On April 16, The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (GMAG) warned it would consider taking “stronger measures” against the Maldives government should it not revise the composition and mandate of the CNI within 30 days over concerns about its impartiality.

A day before CMAG’s deadline, the government agreed to allow a retired Singaporean judge to co-chair the CNI, and also permit former President Mohamed Nasheed to appoint a representative to the commission. These revisions were endorsed by Commonwealth Special Envoy Sir Don Mckinnon.

Following the visit of Mckinnon to the Maldives earlier this month, the government gave a press conference during which Attorney General Azima Shukoor outlined the conditions for Nasheed’s appointee.  These conditions were that an appointee must not have served in a political position in the past two years, must not have taken a public stand on the transfer of power, and must “be of good behaviour and integrity”.

The initial nine candidates fielded by Nasheed include MP and former MDP chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi, former Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, former Youth Minister Hassan Latheef, former Education Minister Shifa Mohamed, former President’s Member on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) Aishath Velezinee, Nasheed’s cousin Hudha Ahmed, former Airports Company board member Ibrahim Saleem, and former President’s Office political appointee Fareesha Abdulla.

The Commonwealth has requested a “suitable nominee” from former President Nasheed be appointed to the CNI by June 1, 2012, so that the revised commission could begin its work by the beginning of the month.

“On track”

MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said today that the party had no comment on the government’s rejection of Lt Colonel Zubair as a nominee to sit on the CNI, whilst processes were “ongoing”.

Ghafoor did raise some concern that it did not “make sense” that the government, whose rise to power would form part of the CNI’s mandate, was allowed to impose conditions on an independent panel.

“I believe that CMAG will work under the assumption that the terms of reference for the CNI has to fit in with the wider guidelines for an independent investigation,” he said. “I therefore see that CMAG’s resolution [for an independent investigation into the transfer of power] will be completed and that everything is on track to ensure this.”

Having rejected the appointment of Lt. Colonel Zubair Ahmed Manik to the CNI, the government said it was also confident that work to appoint a Commission composition acceptable to itself and the Commonwealth was “on track”.

In a statement on the President’s Office website, the government claimed that former President Nasheed had continued to propose “generally unacceptable” candidates under a criteria it said had been agreed with the Commonwealth and CMAG.

“The administration agreed to the terms of reference of the CNI with Sir Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Special Envoy, including the criteria that all nominated candidates have to meet, to serve on the commission. The administration has invited former President Nasheed to nominate a candidate for the commission”, the statement read.

“The latest nomination is Lt Colonel Zubair Ahmed Manik who is a serving officer in the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and does not meet the basic requirement of having an undergraduate degree as per the agreed terms of reference.”

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad today told Minivan News that it was “unacceptable” for Nasheed to send his “family members and cronies” as nominees to represent him on the CNI.

“Can [Nasheed] not come out a someone who is acceptable to this government and the people of the Maldives? At this point, Nasheed has not sent someone with the basic degree qualifications agreed on,” he claimed.

With the Commonwealth’s preferred date of June 1 to have the new CNI in place approaching, Masood added that the government would not itself be forwarding any potential candidates to represent Nasheed.

“We have decided at present to give the benefit of doubt to Mr Nasheed,” he said.

Composition

Alongside the representation of a retired Singaporean judge and Nasheed’s own potential representative, President Waheed has himself appointed three people onto the CNI.

The president has appointed Dr Ibrahim Yasir, Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef and Chair Ismail Shafeeu, Defence Minister under former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The Commonwealth has previously said that the criteria outlined for members of the CNI must extend to all members, including the government’s own appointees as part of an agreement reached earlier this month.

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29 thoughts on “Government rejects latest Nasheed appointee to inquiry commission”

  1. One wonders if Waheed's vice-president and, indeeed, the Convenor of all-party talks appointed by Waheed have basic degrees.

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  2. hehehe....

    Just what are you trying to prove? That it is a coup and they would apologize and hand it over back to you?

    In your dreams....

    Anni signs what ever puts in front of him. Just like the movie rights documents and payments. Just like the resignation letter...

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  3. How can Anni appoint his uncle as unbiased candidate ? This makes no sense at all.

    This also explain him why Anni could not find a running mate in 2008 too.

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  4. Dear Neil Merrett,

    You failed to mention that Nasheed's new appointee was his UNCLE. Could you please respond to this comment here if this is not true?

    Regards

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  5. @Mode

    When you have Umar Naseer complaining that 99% of those who called for President Nasheed's resignation before he forced to resign finally under duress, were PPM members, and the leader of PPM is Gayoom, and DRP members should not have got equal representation in Dr Waheed's administration, isn't that saying that PPM was involved? Ahem... there is that bit about a command centre as well......with Umar Naseer giving orders.... ahem

    And then you have Ismail Shafeeu close relative of the Vice President Waheedudheen , also having served as cabinet minister in various portfolios, the last being that of Defense Minister in Gayooms government, on the CNI. How can Ismail Shafeeu be unbiased?

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  6. First time I heard that a first degree was a condition. Till now that condition has not appeared in the media. But perhaps I missed it.

    What other conditions are there, I wonder?

    And I wonder too how any member of the MDP is going to get a god character certificate from Dr Waheed when he has labelled us all terrorists, and hooligans?

    I don't think there will be any MDP member with a first degree who would not have made a public stand on the coup.

    So that really doesn't leave President Nasheed with many options, does it?

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  7. The illegal coup regime want to put their own man in place at all costs!
    The hallmarks of a dictatorship!

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  8. I'd happily take part as Anni's representative on this committee. However, I'm afraid the regime will not see me as qualified on the grounds that I consider them gate crashers of the Government of the Republic of Maldives. Traitors and thieves; the lot of them. Well, there we are.

    I really don't see why Anni cannot send his uncle if he wishes so, since Gayyoom has his long serving loyal defense minister as his representative, after all, i.e. representing the "99%" of those behind the coup.

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  9. To the Media Secretary may I put this questions? Is Ismail Shafeeq a degree holder? or Mujuthaba a degree holder? when it comes to the Government's choice its double standard. The Maldives constitution, the armed forces law, their ethical obligations have not changed. Their code of conduct, the rules of engagement have not changed either so whether it is his uncle, family member or croanie is there any sides that he could take at the eyes of the law? The law is very clear on the legal obligation of the Armed forces, their unified common purpuses. In this case the government is reluctant to accept such a veteran who might provide expert knowledge relevant to the events that lead to the coup carry out this inquiry.

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  10. Its time society raised stakes here,
    people running this country should be efficient educated people, who actually know and understand a given sector than someone with basic education and all

    and Neil Merret and rest of minivan,
    youre all biased as hell

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  11. The reason why Zubair's name was rejected was because he is Nasheed's uncle with a 'past role'.

    Zubair abandoned a military course he was attending abroad when Nasheed won the elections and rushed back home to take charge of key military areas that Nasheed wanted to be held by someone he trusted. He did saw at the instruction of Nasheed.

    So, it is no wonder that his name was not accepted for a Commission which is required to conduct the Inquiry impartially and independently without bias.

    It is obvious that the government has withheld the actual reasons not to cast a shadow on Zubair as he is still serving in the military in a high position. By nominating Zubair's name , Nasheed has now cast doubt on where Zubair's loyalty is at he moment.

    I wish the government had announced the real reason instead of beating around the bush by saying that Zubair doesn't have a degree. That wasn't the real reason. Everyone knows this.

    Nasheed should not try to sabotage the Inquiry Commission . I wish he will genuinely cooperate and submit a name of an independent person. We are all very keen to know the truth. The real truth without any spin or bias.

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  12. According to Baalees Azima, President Nasheed's nominee to CNI must be qualified even if Dr Waheed who came to power with the help of some Politicians, some Businessmen and some Military & Police shall not require anything other than recognition and approval of the World-notorious Silent Dictator His Excellency Gayyoom............Saabahey Kafabaalees AZIMA

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  13. It would be better if MDP appoints Anni as representative on this commitee because he himself only knows what and how it really happends on 7th february 2012.

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  14. It is becoming more clearer day by day that some people are getting more and more scared of an independent inquiry.There is something rotten somewhere..and there is a willful and conscious effort to hide it. Why so much panic if you have come to power in a legitimate manner? Why to get frightened of justice....?

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  15. Dear Aish, forget about waheeduddeen and mujuthaba. Millionairs dont need degrees. If MPs,who make the laws we live by,and judges, who sit in judgement on us, dont require degrees,this whole thing is a joke. The baagees just want to prolong their illegitimate rule. It is time the people of this country woke up

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  16. So it takes a degree holder to have good character and integrity eh? Well wonder what happened to Dr Waheed, given that he holds PhD and all! Maybe too much education is also not good eh!

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  17. yes for sure for yellow party, nothing will be right except what ever we say in agreement with the Dictator Anni.

    Anni was compelled to resign from his post since he did not have the capacity to manage this country. A guy who could not manage a small company can now run a nation. This is the basic fact on this so called " cue".

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  18. Mode, ok so anni could not run the country.. anni is a laadheenee... anni is faiboa... that is still no justification for a coup robbing the PEOPLE of our vote and rights you morons.... OUR VOTE... do you hear.. you took what was rightly ours.... it has nothing to do with anni... you did not follow the procedure... you, the military, islamic militants and greedy business elite of this country robbed our future.. basic fact is that terrorists of this country has taken over...

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  19. Waheed who needed to be garrotted 'on the spot', is getting the worst dose of its kind!

    He cannot see his rebel compatriots garotting him instead of them being garrotted by justice!

    There can be no one poorer than this Waheed!

    Waheed - Repent! Repent! Repent!
    All religions calls for it!

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  20. @And on

    The country was run by a top management of university educated technical people holding first degrees, master degrees PhDs and where did the country go to? They were engaged in policy making and decision process but what have they got to show for it?

    A health system that did not deliver, with doctors more interested in building their private practice instead of pushing for health care reform in hospitals, health centres, people begging from door to door for medical assistance for their families, women dying in the island from complications in childbirth because the educated elite in the health sector couldn’t be bothered to or failed to convince Gayoom to set up a flying doctors service. Seaplanes for tourists? Oh yes, but sea planes for our people in need of urgent medical attention? Oh No, we don’t have the money.

    An education system that failed our children, with only 25% or less passing three subjects at O levels, that too with the help of private tuition,

    90% of our children leaving school with no access to higher education training. No incentives and support for the private sector to engage in the delivery of national programmes for vocational education and training,

    A judicial system filled with judges and magistrates who have barely completed primary schooling, many of them so corrupt that the judicary is a a big joke.

    Almost 40,000 of our people on drugs,

    A country deep in debt from capital intensive infrastructure that were created to line the pockets of the favoured few, debts that the Nasheed Administration has had to manage ,

    Severe neglect of urban development that has seen the capital Male’ turn into one big slum, I could go on.

    Look at Bhutan; they were behind us in so many ways with the social services and education system, look where they are now. The difference between Bhutan and the Maldives is that they had rulers who cared about their people. Whereas the rulers in Gayoom's administration only cared about lining their pockets.

    Our educated elite were too busy building their own consultancies, their own businesses and feeding their egos with the positions they held. Did they care about the people they were being paid to serve? We gave 30 years to these elite to build our nation. Did they do that?

    Those who did care and tried to make a difference were stone walled, sidelined, persecuted and harassed till they left because their conscience did not allow them to be part of the money laundering scams of Gayoom’s government and the cynical abuse of the trust of the people Gayoom was elected to serve. Many suffered from post traumatic stress from the punishment doled out to THOSE WHO DARED TO BE CRITICAL OF GAYOOMS POLICIES AND PRACTICES severely impairing their capacity for rebuilding their careers.

    And when Gayoom left, what did these people do? Worked hard to obstruct the delivery of election promises of President Nasheed to the people. Their allegiance was not to the people, but to Gayoom who had out them in positions of power and influence.

    And now, after the coup, we see many of these educated people in political positions, as political officers.

    Do you really believe these people can make a difference??

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  21. @Mode
    Anni was forced to resign under duress because he wanted t reform the ecoomic system, and get the rich to pay tax. he was also forced to resign because the rich resort owners did not want to pay their rent up front as Nasheed had asked them to do in return for the extension of their lease. One of the first things Dr Waheed was yo allow them to pay their rent in instalments, sending the country into deficit.

    President Nasheed did an extraordinary job given all the obstructon and no agreement he faced from the civil servants, the parliament when the MDP did not have majority, and the judiciary which from day one made a mockery of the judical system.

    You can whine as much as you like about Anni but truth will prevail and justice will be delivered.

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  22. @And on

    The country was run by a top management of university educated technical people holding first degrees, master degrees PhDs and where did the country go to? They were engaged in policy making and decision process but what have they got to show for it?

    A health system that did not deliver, with doctors more interested in building their private practice instead of pushing for health care reform in hospitals, health centres, people begging from door to door for medical assistance for their families, women dying in the island from complications in childbirth because the educated elite in the health sector couldn’t be bothered to or failed to convince Gayoom to set up a flying doctors service. Seaplanes for tourists? Oh yes, but sea planes for our people in need of urgent medical attention? Oh No, we don’t have the money.

    An education system that failed our children, with only 25% or less passing three subjects at O levels, that too with the help of private tuition,

    90% of our children leaving school with no access to higher education training. No incentives and support for the private sector to engage in the delivery of national programmes for vocational education and training,

    A judicial system filled with judges and magistrates who have barely completed primary schooling, many of them so corrupt that the judicary is a a big joke.

    Almost 40,000 of our people on drugs,

    A country deep in debt from capital intensive infrastructure that were created to line the pockets of the favoured few, debts that the Nasheed Administration has had to manage ,

    Severe neglect of urban development that has seen the capital Male’ turn into one big slum, I could go on.

    Look at Bhutan; they were behind us in so many ways with the social services and education system, look where they are now. The difference between Bhutan and the Maldives is that they had rulers who cared about their people. Whereas the rulers in Gayoom’s administration only cared about lining their pockets.

    Our educated elite were too busy building their own consultancies, their own businesses and feeding their egos with the positions they held. Did they care about the people they were being paid to serve? We gave 30 years to these elite to build our nation. Did they do that?And when Gayoom left, what did these people do? Worked hard to obstruct the delivery of election promises of President Nasheed to the people. Their allegiance was not to the people, but to Gayoom who had out them in positions of power and influence.

    Those who did care and tried to make a difference were stone walled, sidelined, persecuted and harassed till they left because their conscience did not allow them to be part of the money laundering scams of Gayoom’s government and the cynical abuse of the trust of the people Gayoom was elected to serve. Many suffered from post traumatic stress from the punishment doled out to THOSE WHO DARED TO BE CRITICAL OF GAYOOMS POLICIES AND PRACTICES severely impairing their capacity for rebuilding their careers.

    And now, after the coup, we see many of those educated people who stayed in the top positions in Gayooms government now in political positions, as political officers in Waheed's administration. .

    Do you really believe these people can make a difference??

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  23. Anni clearly isnt wise enough to make a simple decision. How can we let such a foolish person run a country?

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  24. Waheed's Administration has declared a LT COLONEL in MNDF uneducated. Isn't this an insult to the Institution? @Abdulla Shareef, agree with you 100%!

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  25. Abdulla Shareef, agree with you. My feeling is that the Waheed govt is clutching at straws to evade an early election, hoping that the fatcats who financed their coup will now get enough time to buy the rest of the country. The Kaashidoo and Thimarafushi people are now taken care of.

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  26. Umar Naseer is a clown. I told him several times , not to speak on behalf of PPM.

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  27. Be aware! I am in deep shit. And I will die there I know; for the injustice I've commissioned. I will try to come out or bring you all to where I am.

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  28. Und damit es im Ausland auch wirklich jeder lesen kann, wie schlecht 'Anni' angeblich sei und wie gut doch die neue Regierung ist, wird das seit gestern in allen PR-Seiten des Internet mit dem Absender 'The Republic of Maldives' verkuendet! Schande ueber so eine Schmierenkomoedie!

    And with it it everyone can read, how 'Anni' is badly alleged and like well however the new government is, is this is announced since yesterday in all PR-sites in the internet with the sender 'The Republic of Maldives'! Disgrace to such a farce!

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