India backs inclusive elections, as former President takes refuge in High Commission

The Indian government has confirmed that former President Mohamed Nasheed has requested India’s assistance after police sought to arrest him and present him to the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court this afternoon.

Nasheed had previously missed a court hearing scheduled for February 10, which was cancelled in his absence. His Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) maintain that the charges – based on his detaining Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed during his final days in office – are a politically-motivated attempt to prevent him contesting the 2013 elections.

Rumours of Nasheed’s imminent arrest began to circulate on Tuesday (February 12) ahead of a scheduled hearing at 4:00pm the following day, prompting his supporters to camp in the narrow alley outside his family home in Male’.

By this morning, Nasheed entered the Indian High Commission, purportedly to “seek advice” from High Commissioner D M Mulay.

Shortly after 1:00pm, riot police blocked off the street outside the High Commission, as Nasheed’s supporters began to gather at the barricades.

The former President subsequently tweeted: “Mindful of my own security and stability in the Indian Ocean, I have taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Maldives.”

“As a close and friendly neighbour, India has expressed concern over the ongoing political instability in Maldives and called upon the government and all political parties to adhere strictly to democratic principles and the rule of law, thereby paving the way for free, fair, credible and inclusive elections,” the Indian Government said in a statement this evening.

“Following the arrest warrant issued against him by the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court, the former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, who is a candidate for the Presidential elections in Maldives scheduled for September 2013, is in the Indian High Commission and has sought India’s assistance. We are in touch with the relevant Maldivian authorities to resolve the situation,” the statement added.

“Now that the President of the Election Commission of Maldives has announced that Presidential elections would be held on 7 September 2013, it is necessary that the Presidential nominees of recognised political parties be free to participate in the elections without any hindrance. Prevention of participation by political leaders in the contest would call into question the integrity of the electoral process, thereby perpetuating the current political instability in Maldives.”

India’s Ministry of External Affairs concluded its statement by contending it was “not in the interest” of the Maldives or the region to prevent any candidate from contesting the country’s presidential elections later this year.

“India would call upon the government and all political parties in Maldives to avoid any actions that would vitiate the political atmosphere in the Maldives,” its statement read.

In a tweet this afternoon, Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel implied that India was  meddling in the Maldives’ internal affairs: “What’s happening now gives us an indication of the extent and level of interest some countries prepared to take in our internal matters,” he said.

“I would strongly urge everyone to let our institutions deal with the challenges, allow Maldives to uphold rule of law,” he tweeted.

The Home Minister – also formerly Justice Minister during the Maldives’ 30 year autocracy – recently urged the courts “to conclude the case against Nasheed before the approaching presidential elections, in the interests of the nation and to maintain peace in it.”

“Every single day that goes by without the case being concluded contributes to creating doubt in the Maldivian people’s minds about the judiciary,” the home minister stated at the time.

The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today in response to media reports that Nasheed had “sought refuge” in the High Commission, following the court’s issuing of an arrest warrant.

“Upon contacting, the High Commission of India confirmed President Nasheed’s presence at the Chancery and informed that he was present there for a meeting with the High Commissioner,” read the statement.

“The Ministry confirms that the government of Maldives will uphold and respect its obligations under international law with regard to diplomatic immunities and privileges granted to resident diplomatic missions. The Government is confident that all parties concerned, including the High Commission of India, will respect the laws of the Maldives and judicial independence as prescribed in the Constitution.”

Protests building

Minivan News observed crowds growing around the barricades at Sosun Magu. Shortly after 6:00pm, the crowd of around 700 people was charged and scattered by a group of 30 Special Operations officers in riot gear.

Former Minister of Housing and Environment in Nasheed’s government, Mohamed Aslam, has confirmed that the MDP’s National Council had today approved “direct action” against the government, notably a campaign of widespread civil disobedience.

“The whole situation is very fluid right now. Nothing will be ruled out,” he said. “What we are demanding is a transitional government, as well as free and fair elections that would include [former President] Nasheed.”

Aslam said that following a march of more than 10,000 in the capital on Friday (February 8 ) showed Nasheed had widespread popular support for contesting the elections.

Reports on social media meanwhile suggested that Nasheed’s luggage was being transferred to the Indian High Commission at time of press.

Disputed court case

Nasheed and his legal team have disputed both the charges against him, and the legitimacy of the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court. The latter was created by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). Nasheed’s lawyers have argued therefore that the court has no legal or constitutional authority.

Nasheed’s team raised these points in the first hearing of the case, stalling the process with a run of appeals and assorted injunctions.

Eventually the JSC asked the seven-member Supreme Court bench to rule on the court’s legitimacy, which it did in December 2012.  The court’s legitimacy was approved by four judges to three.

Former Attorney General Husnu al Suood observed at the time that Supreme Court Judge Adam Mohamed Abdulla should not have participated in the vote as he was also the President of the JSC, which therefore amounted to “presumption of bias”.

Meanwhile, the JSC appointed a three-member panel of judges to oversee the trial of the former president.

The Commission’s members include two of Nasheed’s direct political opponents, including Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid – Deputy of the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) – and Gasim Ibrahim, a resort tycoon, media owner, MP and leader of the Jumhoree Party (JP), also a member of the governing coalition.

Numerous international organisations and reports have challenged the political independence of the JSC and the judiciary.

One recent report produced by local NGO the Raajje Foundation and supported by the UNDP and the US State Department, noted that the JSC’s mission under the 2008 constitution to ensure the new judiciary was was clean, competent, and protected from political influence, “has sadly gone unfulfilled.”

“The courts have essentially been able to capture the JSC so as to ensure that the old judiciary remained in place under the new constitutional order,” the report noted, predicting that the most likely scenario for the Maldives’ future was a cycle of failed governments.

Minivan News will continue live updates on the unfolding situation here


33 thoughts on “India backs inclusive elections, as former President takes refuge in High Commission”

  1. ou deaeqwr leedierr Priesident Annie is people presidnt he brinG democrase and humane righths. he is not acorupt man. he his very long live peqwoples prieasiden t annnie.

  2. Don’t touch him…. He is above the law of jungle ruled by semi evolved piggy judges and brainless people with some uniforms who call them police. if India backs Nasheed it raises a big question of the integrity and sensibility of current political and judiciary apparatus in the Banana republic. a country like India would never mess with a democratic country. This is the good opportunity for India to teach a lesson to this uneducated people with the mentality of Jungles .

  3. The Maldives has, in recent months, experienced:
    a) Muders
    b) Rapes
    c) Child abuse
    d) Corruption
    d) Drug lords ruling the street
    e) Human trafficking

    Nothing has been done to address these atrocities. The culprits walk free, pedophiles left to pray on kids, immigrants taking over the economy and the rich get richer while the ordinary person suffers and brainwashed by religions extremists.

    If you can see, read and hear ask yourself if the country should go drowning deeper because of one simple incompetent judge, or should the government look into solving the above issues that are more critical?

    Narrow minds, greed, selfishness and stupidity will lead us no where.

  4. It is not a question of 'one simple incompetent judge' but about those who control him or who have him compromised? The real evil forces behind that judge.

  5. copycate julian asange! Will get worldwide attention. BBC website already has this news up.

  6. this bloody arse jameel, WTF has india to do with this country, what will india get from maldives .... boduberu? you big Ahole jameel india is a nuclear power, how can you even think india is interested in you.

  7. This trial is now exposing the very reason why Nasheed took a leap outside the chart to reform the judiciary. Our judiciary is far from being just. It can facilitate crooks like Abdullah Hameed, jangiya Nazim, algeen gayoom get away and stay away from a guilty verdict. But yet is swift and efficient unlike any other court case when it comes to the trial of Nasheed simply because this whole process is politically motivated and is a vengeance judiciary is taking on the very person who exposed it for what it is. To crush Nasheed and pass guilty verdict is a pivotal point. It means we have shut the door on ever reforming the judiciary and the crooked judges had their day and will remain as the crooks they are forever. We have shut out the only man who stood against them. People have to rise up against this suppression to reform this country.

  8. when did anni became a presidential candidate? It is the independent body the Elections Commission that will officially announce the presidential candidates.

  9. The old brutal dictatorship is back behaving exactly like before... Disasterous for the contry and democracy.

  10. If people want justice, they should do justice to themselves!
    If judges are unjust, get rid of them!
    ALLAH SWA makes things to happen only when people want it to happen!
    Thriving on morsels thrown by the rich will make the poor, poorer!

  11. Dear Tiuf. I am an Indian living in UK and have Maldivian friends in UK and in India. India does not and will never have a big brother attitude towards our Maldivian brothers. We have always and will always be there by the side of every Maldivian. i am sorry I am not very literate in this particular matter, however I can say for every common Indian that we will never want to see an unstable Maldives. Thanks

  12. Nasheed has done exactly as he should. If he is arrested, there is no guarantee that he would come out of it alive. The regime does not play by the rules. The very fact that they are in power proves this.
    The question now is whether India and other international bodies that support democracy are going to stand by the people of the Maldives or use this as another opportunity to fail them.
    This is not just about Nasheed. This is a turning point for the people of the country. On the one side we have a group of people whose only concern is to exploit the country. On the other we have a group that shows a wider interest in the welfare of the citizens.For many of us, it is as simple as that.
    If India and the international community believe in democracy, they have a choice to make.

  13. Brilliant move by Anni there. Jameel is going crazy on Twitter and I laughed so hard at him.

    @Fact: The reason why pedophiles, rapists, drug lords and corrupt politicians get to walk on these streets is because of the corrupt courts.

    Just look at all the murders that happened last year. None of the people who murdered Dr. Afrashim, the 15 year old student at Dharumavantha or any of the other murdered victims received any justice and the courts have moved along at a glacial at convicting the criminals who murdered Afrahseem and Aslam. However, they are going crazy and pulling out all the stops just to convict Anni. That just goes to show how politicized the current judiciary is.

    If you want to get the murderers, pedophiles, rapists and other criminals convicted then de-politicizing and reforming the judiciary aswell as the Police and Military is just one steps towards that.

    That one small step could make for a huge leap in making Maldives a more peaceful place.

  14. The coup regime attempted already several times to murder president Anni.
    Remember Umar the Backbone Breaker, telling Anni "We kill you, we kill your wife, we kill your kids, we kill your ministers, if you do not resign".
    Red Wave Supermarket had the poison ready. They discussed to push gas through the aircondition ...
    Grateful to India fir saving the life of our president and with that the foundation of our democracy.

  15. “I would strongly urge everyone to let our institutions deal with the challenges, allow Maldives to uphold rule of law,”

    Jameel, you have no credibility either domestically or in diplomatic circles. Your anti-Semitic hate pamphlets are fresh in the minds of all of us.

    Selectively targeting your political opponents in the name of "rule of law" is not going to wash with anyone. Why did Jangiyaa Nazim's embezzlement cases drag through the courts for over 4 years? Countless summons had to be sent before a single appearance by that distinguished character. Where was "rule of law" then?

    How about another embezzlement case; that of Algeen? What happened to the "rule of law" there?

    What about police officers who committed grievous bodily harm in uniform on 8th February 2012, where there is overwhelming evidence (video included) for conviction? What happened to the "institutions" and "rule of law"?

    The pattern is quite clear. Jameel's track record of anti-Semitic hate pamphlet writing to selective amnesia when it comes to justice speaks for itself.

  16. Where is the Bloody Dictator Gayoom and his bugs.
    Shooting Prisoners in 2003, many deaths in Prison, Destroying many families. Many criminal acts during his Era, he must be sent Criminal Court before Nasheed.

  17. "With greater power comes greater responsibility" says spider man's father. The nuclear power is responsible for ensuring peace in this region. The arsehole Jameel cannot be above India if Anini cannot be above the laws.


  19. Nasheed had missed the court hearing couple of time.

    He had earlier left on his campaign trip and challenge the court and the government saying that he will not attend the court.

    A person who had the track record of challenging the constitution and breaking the laws, the court had the right to seek the assistance from Police to bring him to court .

    Nasheed has the right to defend himself before the judge . But he do not want to do this and he want to challenge the constitution and want to stay above the law.

  20. No need to get Nasheed out of the Indian High Com.

    Keep him there till the end of election.

  21. India should keep up whatever pressure they can on the government to ensure a free, fair inclusive elections.

  22. NAsheed is the only person who can combat the cancer in our community.

    Lets not forget that.

  23. The day President Ibrahim Nasir left for Singapore, he told his secretary Illiyas Ibrahim, you all did a very wrong thing,electing Gayoom as a president of Maldives telling to the memebers of parliment, (Vidahluvee Gayoom Hovaashe)this was Gayooms instrucion.Kamineege bugs has shown us Cancer.

  24. he he he this Soooper India couldn`t touch their own Indian citizen Dawood Ibrahim wnated for many crimes when he was residing in Dubai .....

    Ex-boy friend of Sonia one Quatrochi after looted millions of money from India was living in Malaysia but this Soooper power even with Interpol arrest warrent could`t touch him.

    Now he is living in Argentina and this yes madam...poodle of Italian woman PM Singh gave no-objection certificate to UK GOVERNMENT about Qutroch also an Italian and he had taken billions of pounds from his earlier frozen bank accounts in London within hours.

    This type of Indian clowns are trying to put Maldives Island in order what a joke ...

  25. india is world no. 1 democracy. India rank world no 3 economy. India rank world no 3 arm forces.
    All above with heart of mouse to help its neighbour.

  26. If India was world no 1 democracy ? How was this chosen ? Most corrupted country in the world.

    How the hell India be world no 3 economy ? You think people are blind in this world ?

    India is a strong country and it has the second largest population in the world.

    45% of the population do not know how to read and write .

    45% of the people living under the poverty line.

  27. @kuribee. I have this strange feeling that you are modi- the small minded regime supporter who provided me with endless amusement.
    You both have a lot in common: a remarkable inability to think clearly, a naive, almost innocent belief that if you aired your anger and frustration in public without any points to support what you say, people will believe you and an incredible lack of communication skills.
    So, some advice. Just because there is a law or an accepted way of doing things, it does not mean that it is right. Nasheed does not have to go to a court organised by his opponents to stop him standing for the election. He has rights too as do most Maldivians. Try and think Kuribee. We have brains to questions things, particularly social wrongs so that we can live in a JUST society.Otherwise we would still be in the jungle jumping from tree tree, just like some of your regime supporters.
    However, keep writing. It keeps me amused to see that he regime is supported by people like you. I particularly like pointing to people like you when I talk to people overseas, toe xplain the mind-set of the Gayoom supporters.

  28. Agagadha, kuribee has point here. Problem with some people is that they don't believe anything against them and tolerance level is zero including yiyrsekf

  29. Germany is the 3rd biggest economy in the world ..where recently education minister resigned...few years back an aspiring defence minster resigned when their doctoral thesis scam exposed..French defense minister resigned when press exposed she and her family used the private jet of ex-Tunusian president...these are democratic nations..even in Italy ex-PM is in prison....can this happen in Soooper India ? NO.

    Yes India has got 4th largest beedi smoking army in the world..but Indian state Arunachal Pradesh is in Chinese map today....remember 2000+ Indian troops died in Sri Lanka few years ago....finaly ..Sooper India has bought 50 years old French Navy frigate on its way to Bangladesh ship breaking yard..and painted in tri color and make big noise..while Chinese have built state of art navy ship themselves.

    60% of Indians go to toilet in open air..80% illiterate...70% go to bed empty stomach..but Indian politicians have stashed 4 trillon dollors in western banks...a good development indeed.

  30. he said he's not afraid in bullet after resignation, but now he's afraid in arrest warrant.hahaha


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