Government says it will “solve” CNI concerns as the MDP braces for “crucial week”

The government has said it will resolve concerns about the impartiality of an investigation into February’s transfer of power, as a four week Commonwealth deadline to enact changes expires later this week.

President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza said the four week deadline to address concerns over the impartiality of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) set by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) last month would be “solved” without the country facing further action.

The now opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), which is calling for early elections to be held in 2012 and a revised CNI with international participation, has meanwhile said that it faces a “crucial week” ahead of the Commonwealth deadline.

On April 16, CMAG said it would consider taking “stronger measures” against the Maldives government if the CNI, set up by President Mohamed Waheed to ascertain the details behind the controversial transfer of power on February 7, was not revised to make the body “credible” and “impartial” in four weeks.  The Maldives has already been suspended from participation in CMAG over concerns about the exact nature of the transfer of power.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed alleged following his resignation from office that he had been forced to step down under “duress” in a “coup d’etat” sponsored by opposition politicians, sections of the military and police and some influential local businessmen.

Strict deadline?

With Commonwealth representatives presently in Male’ to discuss revising the CNI with the government, Abbas Adil Riza claimed that the issues raised by the intergovernmental organisation would be “solved” by the time discussions were concluded.

“I don’t think [the four week deadline] was so strict. There won’t be a situation [with the Commonwealth] once the four week period is up,” he said.

When questioned over the nature of a potential resolution to CMAG’s concerns – such as appointing a foreign presence to the CNI – Abbas said the government was committed to resolving the issues raised by the organisation in recent months.

“We have always said that we welcome Commonwealth assistance on the CNI,” he added.

Since CMAG’s four week deadline to revise the CNI composition was issued, the government has said that it remains committed to remaining a member of the 54 member state intergovernmental organisation.

However, representatives of some political parties in President Waheed’s coalition government have questioned whether the country should remain in the Commonwealth, going as far as to submit bills to parliament to renounce the country’s membership.

Leader of the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and second largest party in the Maldives, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, has publicly stated he would not support the motion to renounce the country’s Commonwealth membership.

“Crucial week”

CMAG’s calls for both early elections and a revised CNI, which have since been backed by the European Union, have been one of the key focuses of an ongoing series of protests by the MDP and its supporters over the last three weeks.

Yesterday, demonstrations said to have been attended by a few thousand MDP supporters were held in the capital Male’ and the island of Fuvahmulah. The party said the demonstrations were in support of the Commonwealth’s stance in resolving the political upheaval through elections in 2012 and an independent CNI.

Responding to the protests, which have been held every Friday for the last few weeks, Abbas said the demonstrations had gone “more or less peacefully”. However, he did express concerns from the government over certain groups of protesters who had been gathering noisily outside the country’s Supreme Court.

“This government will not allow demonstrators to hinder the work of the Supreme Court. This situation is ridiculous,” Abbas said.

Local media has reported that following yesterday’s protests, the Maldives Police Service had forwarded complaints to the Elections Commission about concerns from noise generated through loud speakers during the MDP demonstration.

A mosque in the capital, as well as the Supreme Court, have both reportedly submitted official complaints  about the level of noise generated.

MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said that the complaints were not a concern for the party, which he claimed had been exercising its constitutional right to protest against a judiciary and government it did not believed has a legitimate mandate to serve the public.

Ghafoor claimed that despite alleged “sporadic incidence” of police violence against MDP protesters in recent weeks, protests were being conducted much more peacefully in the country.

“We have noticed police have backed off when it comes to using physical force of late. In some cases though, we still believe that police are not acting according to the correct procedures,” he said.

According to Ghafoor, people attending the protests remained “unhappy” about the role security forces played in bringing the present government to power without an “electoral mandate”. He claimed that unhappiness abut the role of certain police officers was reflected in protesters conducting marches past police and military barracks in the capital.

Ghafoor added that the MDP’s Friday protests – now in their third consecutive week of being held – would continue until calls by both CMAG and its own supporters for early elections during 2012 and an internationally backed independent CNI were met.

The MDP said it therefore anticipates a “crucial week” of protesting ahead. These protests are expected to begin on Monday May 14 over a cabinet decision to reclaim the Usfasgandu area of Male’.  The area was leased to the MDP by Male’ City Council (MCC) for use in their political activities.

Two days later, additional protests are expected to be held to coincide with the deadline for the government to have revised the CNI in accordance with CMAG’s calls.

“Anything can happen”

Ghafoor claimed that MDP supporters were presently on “tenterhooks” awaiting the week’s developments, adding that the party was optimistic about obtaining either early elections in 2012 or an independent CNI investigation.

“We are in a position right now where anything could happen at any time,” he said.

With the Commonwealth deadline to amend the CNI expiring on May 16, Ghafoor added that the simplest option for all Maldivian parties to resolve the present dispute would be for President Waheed to resign his presidency. He contended that such a move would then require Parliamentary Speaker Abdulla Shahid to call general elections within two months without the need for constitutional reform.

“Right now, [the MDP] see the simplest solution for the current situation would be for Waheed to stand down,” he said.

The government has said that the earliest date it could presently hold elections would be by July 2013 unless amendments were made to the constitution allowing for the incumbent government to be provided a whole five-year term.

Ghafoor said he had tried to forward the proposal for President Waheed to resign at all-party talks that briefly reconvened last week for several hours.

However, the talks once again ended in stalemate a few hours later over concerns about the legitimacy of the MDP following a vote of no-confidence that saw party President Dr Ibrahim Didi and Vice President Alhan Fahmy removed from their respective positions.

Dr Didi has since submitted an official complaint with the Elections Commission (EC) regarding his ouster by the party. The MDP former president claimed at the time that the MDP national Council’s vote was not performed in line with the party’s constitution presently registered with the EC.

For the week ahead, Ghafoor claimed that the MDP would be paying particular attention to the CNI and Commonwealth pressure for amendments to the Commission’s composition.

“For us, the key issues [with the CNI] are that representatives of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom such as Ismail Shafeeu, sit as chair of the Commission. His track record for independence is not good,” he claimed.

Should amendments be made to the CNI, such as appointing international representatives, Ghafoor said he was optimistic about the CNI’s potential findings for the MDP.

“We are confident [that the transfer of power] will be seen as a coup by a truly independent inquiry commission,” he said.


18 thoughts on “Government says it will “solve” CNI concerns as the MDP braces for “crucial week””

  1. Even if there was a coup by whoever whaheed has nothing to do it. Every Maldivian, Including President Waheed is innocent until proven guilty. The Chief justice of the country has swan him as the president as prescribed by the constitution of the country.
    If the Supreme court makes a ruling to say that there was a coup, than the perpetrators will be brought to justice, it will be same if President Waheed was proved to be guilty he too will have to be punished.
    BUT until such ruling is made by court of law, there is no legal ground for President Waheed to step down.

  2. Waheed met with the coup leaders couple of nights before the coup. Waheed gave a televised statement calling for the police to disobey the then government. Under waheed several democratic supporters where physically brutalized. Waheeds brother was at the helm with the police taking over the state broadcaster as the coup was unfolding. Under waheed several Addu people were beaten by his security forces under his command. There are gross human rights violations committed by waheed by the institutions directly under him. Under waheeds presidency several tax and business bills have been sent back without being ratified further depleting the state reserve, this in favor of the big resort owners who financed the coup. waheed has appointed all his family members including his children to high level posts. Under the constitution he should be carrying out the mdp menifesto that the people voted, instead he categorically diverts from the vision, proving that his agenda is not a continuation of the previous administration. Waheed has brought the dictator and his family that the Maldivian people said NO in 1998, back in to the scene letting them run this country. He is too deep in this shit hole they created that coup or no coup he has no escape. Chief justice, bagee waheed, maumoon, yameen, gasim, rich mother fu****s, religious jew bashing fanatics, the illegally sworn in judges and the security forces are all in this.. and they famously met with waheed just before the coup and announced that waheed had joined them and called the police to take orders from waheed. Did you say supreme court? there is no judiciary in this country any more nor a police institution. This is simply a police state with waheed as a puppet and mumoon as the master.

  3. Dear DVD;

    - First there is no conclusive evidence of a coup in this country so then Vice President Waheed meeting with heads of registered opposition parties in the Maldives is not a sin nor an offense.

    - Then Vice President Waheed called on police officers to refrain from following illegal instructions including orders to arrest Maldivian citizens outside the law. This call can only be applauded.

    - The circumstances under which the police and military occupied assets belonging to State Broadcaster MBC which were illegally being held under a government-owned corporation, MNBC, formed by Presidential decree is well-known to us all. The premises illegally occupied by MNBC belong to MBC by virtue of the MBC Act passed by Parliament.

    - Several sources claim that clashes between a mob in Addu and the police took place during attempts to prevent widespread acts of arson and criminal damage. Pictures of public infrastructure ablaze is available on several online news networks.

    - Please elaborate on these alleged 'gross violations' of human rights which took place under the Nasheed regime.

    - The President returned the Sole Proprietorship Bill, Business Registration Bill and Business Profits Tax Bill to Parliament for reconsideration. Only the last of these three pieces of legislation has direct relevance to State income and Waheed has made no indication that he would not sign these into law. Also our laws provide for Parliament to pass them into law regardless of Presidential ratification.

    - I think we must all accept that any leader elected in our country is forced by circumstances to appoint members of his family to key posts; Nasheed did so, Qayyoom as well and certainly Nasir and Mohamed Ameen were no exception.

    - The people never voted an MDP manifesto into power. It was rather a coalition formed by Dr. Hassan Saeed, the right honorable MP Qasim Ibrahim and then Presidential hopeful Nasheed that the people were led to back. Unfortunately the Maldivian people had little understanding of the system of governance ushered in which gives unfettered executive decision-making powers to the President rather than a coalition of parties.

    - Qayyoom, autocrat that he was, was voted out of office in 2008 not 1998 and he still managed to secure more than 40 percent of the vote indicating to any level-headed person that he is in no way an unpopular former head of State.

    - If there was no coup kind sir there President Waheed is absolved of all blame as per your allegations and he will be free to live a dignified life as a former President.

    - Issues with the judiciary are many but none of them were sworn-in illegally. Most of the issues with the judiciary stem from the Supreme Court appointed by Nasheed. A lot of the serving justices are well-educated hard-working individuals that certain parties in this country have unfairly defamed without any basis.

    - Jew-bashing? I think you must try to fit your comments into the specific context of our country.

    - All institutions in our country are safely intact. We just need to strengthen them and god-willing democracy will never be erased from this country by the efforts of a few anarchists sour over the loss of handouts and rents paid by the deposed President.

  4. @dvd Absolutely right.There is no excuse for this regime's bad behaviour.There is too much evidence out there re our current president. He may be deluding himself, but Waheed has failed our country spectacularly by colluding with a bunch of crooks directed by the puppetmaster Gayoom, bringing his 30 year reign of destruction back. The people who will pay the price for this are ordinary Maldivians (ie the majority).Waheed will soon outlive his use, mark these words and is in that sense a pitiful figure. These people are too self interested to be serving the national interest. People can criticise the MDP but that was our best bet if our country is to have a future worth having.What we are seeing is pure cynicism. If Maldivians can' see that then they will vote for the leader they deserve. But they need to be given a chance and a choice.

  5. @ dvd
    Despite your rather coarse language your summary is totally correct.

  6. The sole beneficiary of this coup is ultimately going to be none other than PPM and the Kaaminee Clan. Under a well orchestrated plot, they managed to topple their long term foe out of office.

    The remarkable fact here is that PPM managed to get the likes of Gasim, Thasmeen and some religious fanatics to take part in this act. The latter hope to capitalise on the proceeds, but PPM will not let that happen.

    As for Waheed, he will be forgotten in a few years time. Furthermore, he will be fed to the sharks by those who propped him up to where he is now. His usefulness is temporary and is only a means to an end. There are sharp arrows headed towards his back side!

  7. Democracy...!!!! A form of government by the Bagees ..for the Bagees ... Of the Bagees..! Nothing more to expect..! It is an insult to Democracy.

  8. i call upon everyone to investigate what had happened prior 7th Feb. also and not only after 7th Feb.

    The dictator Anni need to be punished for ruining our economy and being sold our public assets for his personal gain.

    Look at the history of Anni and his actions will speak and he is a dictator and he always want to be a king and not a president.

    His ideology is of communist in many ways and when it come for making quick bucks then privatization come. The entire privatization policy was just to give away the the assets to his friends for his personal gain.

    Look the 3 elected president within MDP, all of them were forced to resign or leave the party and they all have said the same thing and Anni is the cult and he plays dirty game within the party and use corrupt money to force them out . If this was one of the case, then it might be the problem with the elected party president but how it is possible to be all the presidents.

    As long as Maumoon and Anni continue to be in Maldives politics, Maldives will never be able to calmness in the country and they both are cults and follower are excepted to pray them . To our sadness, many people who have got huge benefits through them, are blind about them

  9. In 3 years Anni had bankrupted the country. Budget deficit skyrocketed to 27 billion. Almost freely distrubuted the country's assets (without tender) to his cronies. Value of maldives Rufiya fell to 15.42.....He has no brains to manage the maldives economy.

  10. Agree with @dvd 100%. Nasheed was removed by a coup d'e'tat and waheed was sworn in as a temporary President (constitution).

  11. @ Mariam
    Nasheed introduced a fair tax system for a modern economy. They paid for Gayoom,s yacht and palace, cars etc and cronies and the national debt was reduced from 33% to 9%. He introduce medicine for all, education and transport for the islands while reducing national debt down to the previous dictatorships irresponsibilities.

    Get your facts straight !!!

  12. Zee, Tell me from where you got these figures ?

    You are calculating based on arbitrary and imaginary figures and the country is virtually bankrupted.

    Tax regime was something good for the nation but having earned tax and it should be spend wisely not for the benefit of own party and distribute them to MDP hard core members only.

    I salute for Anni to introduce the taxes but was not happy about reducing rent from the Resorts and those lease rent should be kept as it is by having a minimum ceiling for the bed rent to those resorts which are at so low bed rent. This way , reduction in earning from resort leased rents should not have shrunken as it was. This again Anni did for the sake of few MDP embers and supporter and himself.

  13. The prevailing tax regime was introduced by the will of the Parliament with the Executive and the IMF as well as the business sector providing its support and backing.

    So I think crediting a single person for such a major change is unfair to the Maldivian people. A better way is to congratulate the Maldivian people or the Maldives for introducing a tax regime.

    I think mode has a simple yet highly important point.


    Let us take welfare benefits;

    Single-mother cash benefits: How many mothers receive them? How are these funds? Are they adequate? A proper study needs to be done.

    Basic Pension for Senior Citizens (in common speak the 2000-rufiyaa allowance for senior citizens): THIS WAS INTRODUCED BY THE PARLIAMENT UNDER THE PENSION ACT 2007 AND CONTINUES TO BE DISPENSED BY THE MALDIVES PENSION ADMINISTRATION OFFICE.

    Cash incentives for youths taking part in the Hunaru Program: According to Nasheed-regime State Minister for Education only 170 out of around 2500 students receiving cash benefits had even attended a training program. Meaning the rest was frittered away on god-knows-what.

    Aasandha Universal Health Insurance Scheme: Poor awareness-raising led to the situation where beneficiaries rushed to use out-patient allowances for fun and frolic. Out-patient allowance was set at MRf 10,000 while Nasheed as the political head of the executive claimed on several media outlets that the anyone can now receive medical treatment up to the limit of MRf 100,000. The misunderstanding partly contributed to frivolous spending on the part of a large number of citizens.

    Utilities subsidies: How many are registered for these benfits? Are the most needy identified? Are the less needy registered? No follow-up has ever been done on the implementation.

  14. Anni could have done better. But he evidently did not do enough. Democracy at every cost is not good. It will equal anarchy. And that's what happened here.

  15. I agree with Yameen Gayoom all those present in Police Head Quarters were coup leaders together with Waheed Supreme Judge and Abdulla Shahidh


Comments are closed.