If I had no role in coup, I don’t have to resign, Waheed tells BBC

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has told the BBC he would not necessarily resign even if the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) were to find evidence of a coup, following  investigations of the ousting of the former President Mohamed Nasheed.

“If [the commission] find out that I had a role in bringing about a coup, then I would definitely resign,” he said.

“But if I have no role – if somebody else has done it – it doesn’t mean I have to resign, according to the law of the Maldives.”

Waheed’s interview with the BBC came whilst the President was in London as an invitee to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

He would not be drawn into debate ovr what course of action he would take should the commission determine the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power in February to have been illegal.

The BBC reported Waheed as saying only that he would seek “legal guidance” in this eventuality.

Waheed suggested that the consequences of his resignation and a premature election would be far worse for the country.

“We have to consider the political situation. We have other political parties – big political parties – who are not ready for an election. I have to exercise my judgement – as leader of the country – to make sure we don’t get into a worse political turmoil.”

He also told the UK’s Financial Times that calling early elections would be “reckless”, as it would require him to resign hand power to the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Abdulla Shahid, “who got elected with just 2,000 votes”.

Dr Waheed’s own Gaumee Ithihaad Party (GIP) received 518 votes in the 2009 Parliamentary Election, and had 2625 members as of February 27.

President’s Office Spokesman Abbas Adil Riza explained that the suggestion that some big political parties were not ready for elections referred to the “unanimous” desire of all political parties to introduce new legislation that would govern the activities of political parties.

Abbas claimed that a ‘Political Parties Act’ was discussed at the all party talks held at Bandos Island resort last weekend. Such legislation would make it easier to penalise parties who fail to accept the outcomes of elections or who violate the law, he said.

The Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) international spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor agreed that both elections and reforms were needed to move out of the current political crisis, but questioned the President’s ability to oversee the required changes.

“He is unable to get these reforms as he is not in control of the coalition, which is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode,” said Ghafoor.

Ghafoor saw such comments as an attempt by the President to posit himself as an interim president.

“I suspect he is playing the victim card, saying ‘I am holding on for the sake of this country’, pleading with the international community to help him, “ Ghafoor continued.

Former Maldives High Commissioner to the UK Dr Farahanaz Faizal told the BBC that Waheed’s February move from the Vice President’s to the President’s office would become an illegitimate one if any kind of coup is proven.

“If the elected president has been deposed unconstitutionally, then there is no rightful succession of the vice-president,” said Faizal.

Not ready for elections?

When speaking with the BBC in April, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon also argued that reforms were needed before free and fair elections could be held.

One of the institutions criticised by Dunya, the Elections Commission (EC), dismissed suggestions that it was too weak to supervise polls almost immediately after they were made, claiming it was ready to hold any election when required.

This claim appeared to be substantiated later in the month as several elections, including two parliamentary by-elections, were held over the same weekend in mid-April without incident.

Abbas told Minivan News today that reform of the EC was an issue raised again at the Bandos round of all party talks.

Identifying necessary reforms for independent posts and institutions, discussing laws to be enacted, and possible amendments to the constitutions were third, fourth and fifth, respectively, on the talks’ six point agenda.

Setting a date for fresh presidential elections was last on the list.

The first item on the party talks’ agenda was solving the problem of public disturbances, the governing coalition’s solutions to which led the MDP to argue that the talks were not being taken seriously.

Among the 30 points suggested by the coalition to alleviate “political turbulence” in the country, it was suggested that all partys stop practicing black magic and using sexual and erotic tools.

It was also suggested that parties not walk in groups of more than 10, not hold rallies in the street, and stop the use of megaphones in protests.

The MDP yesterday held its usual Friday protest as many hundreds marched round the streets of the capital. Loudspeakers accompanied the rally, challenging the legitimacy of the current government and calling for early elections.

The party’s rally yesterday was also used as an opportunity to celebrate world environment day.

Earlier this week, US Senator Robert Casey, who Chairs the Senate’s Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee, called for elections as early as possible “to ensure that the seeds of the democratic process planted in 2008 are able to flourish.”

In April United States pledged US$500,000 (Rf7.7million) in technical assistance to assist Maldivian institutions in holding free and fair presidential elections, available from July 2012.

However President Waheed has said repeatedly that he is constitutionally restrained from bringing elections forward any further than July 2013.


20 thoughts on “If I had no role in coup, I don’t have to resign, Waheed tells BBC”

  1. Waheed does not have the right to bring the election forward and he is expected to follow our constitution. Wheed does not require to follow the dictator Anni orders any more and he is by default our President.

    If waheed want to bring the election forward , then he need to put a bill in the parliament to amend the constitution and then he can have an early election.

    Waheed does not look like an idiot who does not respect our constitution and our values like the dictators Anni.

    Yes US and even EU will give their support to have a free and fair election and they will provide technical support and they are asking to have the election as early as possible. This does not mean that they are demanding to have the election next week and that rather means to have the election as per our constitution.

    But the dictator Anni is trying to twist the message by telling his "followers" that those countries are calling to have election next week or so. The people around the cult does not think from their own brain but they only believe what the spiritual leaders says and Anni keeps them busy by engaging them in his personal agenda

  2. @mode waheed also does not have the right to be involved in a coup to depose the sitting president. If like you say Nasheed was acting dictatorial or going against the constitution let the voters vote him out. no bunch of people can decide that n get rid of an elected leader. coming to power via a coup is hardly the actions of a man who respects the constitution, he seems desperate to hold on to the job at the expense of depriving Maldivians of their vote.

  3. Farahanaz is right! Waheed's position would become null and void if any kind of coup is proven. There is no law in the constitution which says that a vice president can take up that job if there is coup! Waheed may not be an idiot but he is behaving like a child and a bully. That's all!

  4. Minivan's propaganda efforts seem better now that untrained individuals like Mohamed Naahee are not reporting on key political issues.

    However all arguments aside we need to reach a solution through compromise. All parties must find a reasonable way out of the current crisis.

    I'm sure no neutral person in their right mind would believe that any Inquiry conducted in this country would imprison political leaders and incarcerate entire institutions. So we cannot expect criminal proceedings following the release of the Inquiry report regardless of the wishes of the common MDP activist.

    My guess, although it is useless to speculate, is that the Inquiry would focus on the contradictions between the Constitutional right to refuse "unlawful" government orders and the duty of uniformed officers to follow the chain of command. Also the Inquiry will focus on the deterioration of the political situation which led to the arbitrary and extended arrest of a Senior Justice. The Inquiry will also note democratic deficits especially in the area of reasonable regulations on political activities and street demonstration as a political tactic.

    The report might also mention where our independent institutions failed to make an impact during the crucial moment when they were most needed.

    The result of a report notwithstanding our leaders need to agree on peaceful means to assuming power rather than the open conflict favored by all political parties.

  5. now you are no different from a 10 year old. If you had no role in this coup, then why did you send your own brother to Television Maldives to hijack the place. we all know and saw him there! why did you go on air early morning of the day of the coup and say you were ready to do whatever is necessary? sure, these acts don't hold as strong evidence, and commission may not be able to prove you played no part, but nevertheless, it states the obvious, your intentions/priorities were elsewhere and not at the side of then president Mohamed Nasheed, who was frantically trying to hold the country together.

    Stop playing this game with the public Waheed. An educated man like you must not take us for fools.

  6. @mode on Sat, 9th Jun 2012 6:42 PM

    "The people around the cult does not think from their own brain but they only believe what the spiritual leaders says..."

    Dude, look at yourself before you pass judgement on how other people use their brains. Are you claiming to have a superior brain to the rest of us? The evidence so far, from your posts here do not suggest that.

    There's a large percentage of the Maldivian population who believe that democracy has taken a backstep since 7th February 2012 and the only way to restore the democratic path is by allowing the people to chose their leader.

    Furthermore, this is not Iran and we do not have "spiritual" leaders. Those who aspire to be so are to be found in the ranks of the Adhaalath Party. You should have a word with them about "spiritual" leaders.

    Anni or for that matter no one else can twist any message from anywhere. We have enough brain power to gather and analyse information, all by ourselves. If you don't realise that, then that's your problem.

    We know how Waheed's trip to the UK has been going. Before he left, he was huffing and puffing his chest about turning around how the Commonwealth viewed the Maldives and that he'd have a chat with British Prime Minister David Cameron and all we be hunky dory.

    Shall I tell you a secret? None of that happened! The Foreign and Commonwealth Office released a statement whilst Waheed was in the UK, reiterating the same message as before. This is not a message that needs to be translated and spread by a "spiritual" leader. This is a message in the public domain for all to see and read.

    "It is also important that all-party talks make progress, including on early elections with full participation."

    Do you need a translation of that?

  7. He also told the UK’s Financial Times that calling early elections would be “reckless”, as it would require him to resign hand power to the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Abdulla Shahid, “who got elected with just 2,000 votes”.

    What a load of utter bollocks! The Maldivian Constitution doesn't care whether Dr Abdulla Shahid had 0 votest or 1 million votes. There's a clear line of action defined in the Constitution whereby the Speaker of Majlis takes over the running of the country. Does the Constitution require the Speaker to have a certain amount of votes? No, it doesn't.

    It looks like Waheed doesn't understand the Constitution of the country he leads. Does he think he can get away by talking such bollocks to the international media?

  8. We want democracy. We do not want Arabian lunacy.

    People must decide the path of the nation, with their own brains.
    Not by a small number of wealthy businessmen, hiding behind middle eastern lunatic way of life, so that the people can be intimidated by hell fire stories, while they can squeeze the country and it's people.

    People think. the creator of all universes, can pick and choose who to punish. You as an individual are allowed to use your brains and question the ranting of mullahs. Mullahs rant solely to bed virgins and elevate their ego, in an otherwise useless life. Useless for those around them, useless for the country, and certainly useless for humanity. They say tv, pictures, cameras, music are hell bound paths. Yet.....

    I want the people of Maldives to think and know that you can think and not be afraid. And vote for the best for you and for your children. Don't let them be salivated by mullahs.

  9. Oh god! Hassan saeed was right, he is the least prepared for the top job! I cringe everytime he puts his foot in his mouth in the international media!

  10. @tsk tsk
    Do you not have enough spinning to do in your high ranking government job? Don't you think as an educated man you should stop trying to disguise your misleading baseless statements behind your clever use of the English language?

    This was obviously a cleverly planned coup, all the evidence is there as clear as day, there was a police mutiny, co-ordinated and paid for by high ranking members of the current coalition like umar naseer for weeks during the detention of "chief criminal" judge of the criminal court. They simply used the detention of this corrupt judge as an excuse to take down the government. Even the JSC, lacking any independence whatsoever, agreed that this judge had been guilty of many crimes as a sitting judge. How constitutional was he? Can you explain to what level this judge and most of the others sitting on different courts in the judiciary have been acting constitutionally in the last 3 years? Aren't they supposed to have even basic secondary education? Does the fact that the judiciary completely ignored this part of the constitution for 3 years mean that any one of these unqualified judges acted less unconstitutionally than the president who's decision to detain the chief judge was because he was attempting to block his own summons? Who is actually in the wrong here?

  11. Sounds like he will do anything to stay in power, pathetic and embarrassing.
    Let the people decide, ELECTION NOW TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY.

  12. @basher:

    There are a lot of allegations and speculation about what happened on 7th February 2012. However no investigating body has as yet released any conclusive statement on who did what funded by whom.

    The Judge you refer to, Abdulla Mohamed, has not been found guilty of any crime to my knowledge. He has been accused of judicial impropriety however no hearings have been conducted so far regarding his case.

    The judicial impropriety he is accused of, for the record, is an allegation that he made a political comment in an interview to DhiTV. That is all. His legal team contests this claim. So it remains to be seen what will result from the proceedings against the judge.

    Democracy introduces long and pain-staking processes in to the system but these processes ensure everyone a fair shake and limits the chance of arbitrary incarceration.

    We have to let go of the days where we can prejudge someone based on our personal affiliations and then try him at the court of public opinion. Suspected of wrongdoing is now not the same as proven guilty.

    I am not defending Abdulla Mohamed but I am defending the systems we fought so hard to introduce into our country. If you wish to throw them all away for your perceived notion of justice then you do not support democracy. You support some other ideal. It is up to you to decide what this ideal exactly is.

  13. kutti Naheed's role will also now come to light.. he is a very double faced lunatic we have to get rid off....

  14. @ Hussy are you sure you got the meaning of dictator right? Criticize Nasheed all you want, he has been no saint, but don't sprout propaganda nonesense like dictator about him. It is because he was too liberal that it has come to this, people could say whatever they wanted about him politically and personally and in the end some portion of the population ended up believing in that shit. I for one wish he had been a bit dictatorial this mess wouldn't have come about then. Oh and don't hold the arrest of the most corrupt judge as evidence of him being dictatorial , that was a bad move on his part, but that pedo judge should have been stripped of his position long time back if there was any real justice in the Maldives.

  15. Waheed knows he was part of this coup. He just want to remain in power and get his children better jobs in US. He has no love for the country. A man who only wanted to be President. He has no mandate no vision no plans no support and no programs for the people. All what he wants is to remain in power until he can fill his next egg.

  16. Leena, Nasheed was a dictator and he had gathered all powers to his office under his arms. He did many things outside our constitution and he publicly announced that he will and he can do anything he want within and outside the constitution.

    He arrested, Gaasim, Yameen, Judge abdulla outside the constitutional rights, he locked the spreme court and he gave illegal orders to police and MNDF and what else is there to prove.

    He gave GMR without going through a transiency bidding process and he gave Thilafushi project to Reeco and gave Gulhy falhu project to a company at much higher price than normal market price , You think that he is a loyal person to this country.

    Anni got only 24% of the vote in the first round and in the second round he got the majority because of the Gaasim, Adaalath and Hassan saeed party.

  17. Gayyoom, Yaameen, Thasmeen and Gasim claim that they love Maldivians more than they love their wives & children and that they performed a Jihad to prevent the people from Nasheed.

    So it's very strange that these people having a shivering sensation whenever MDP supporters or the international community requests or suggests for an early election as Feb 7 incidents are not clear to anyone except those who involved in the Demonstrations against Nasheed's government. No doubt, anyone who took part in the 23 December Demonstration against Nasheed knows Feb 7th incident was legal. But all others doubt very much and many says it was really a Police Mutiny

  18. If Waheed said, "Please, please allow me to be President", he would have more self respect.


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