Maldives government changes in dramatic scenes after police elements join opposition protest

Vice President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has been sworn in as President of the Maldives following the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed in dramatic circumstances at 1:00pm today (February 7).

President Mohamed Nasheed appeared on ‘Television Maldives’ (TVM), and issued a brief statement this afternoon:

“I resign because I am not a person who wishes to rule with the use of power. I believe that if the government were to remain in power it would require the use force which would harm many citizens. I resign because I believe that if the government continues to stay in power, it is very likely that we may face foreign influences.

“I have always wished the citizens of this country well, now and into the future. I have made this decision and I wish for your prosperity in this life and the life after.”

The President’s resignation comes after elements of the police and 60-70 officers from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) sided with opposition protesters and attacked the MNDF headquarters early this morning.

Minivan News at 8:00am on February 7 observed a group of 400-500 opposition protesters, interspersed with blue-shirted police officers, assaulting the MNDF building in Republic Square.

At the height of the violence there appeared to be no police riot control presence in the square. Military forces with riot shields held back the crowd at while soldiers in gas masks used grenade launchers to fire tear gas canisters from the turrets of base into the crowd.

“This government is over!” yelled a middle-aged man in a shirt and tie, dodging a tear gas canister. Several confronted Minivan News.

Younger rioters threw water bottles and rocks at the building, breaking windows. Another picked up a tear canister and attempted to hurl it back into the compound.

There were mixed reports that the military used rubber bullets to control the demonstrators. Minivan News only observed tear gas canisters being fired as of this morning, and the government at the time denied using rubber bullets.

The wind quickly dispersed the tear gas in the large open area, blowing south through the city.

Outside the main square the streets were as calm and quiet as a typical Male’ morning, as the school run began. Students walked through the hazy streets south of the square holding their clothes to their faces, and were handed water and paper towels by teachers at school gates.

At 10am this morning Minivan News observed military units protecting the President’s residence, and sirens as police units from other parts of the city converged on the square.

A government spokesperson this morning confirmed that “some elements within the police have not obeyed orders, and military and police are working to restore order.”

“The opposition has been calling for the police and military to mutiny and join the mob in bringing down the country’s first democratically elected government,” he said.

Opposition protesters and police supporters subsequently took over the Maldives National Broadcasting Commission (MNBC) and began streaming VTV over the station. The channel was later rebadged ‘TVM’, its name under Gayoom’s government. Opposition party leaders and MPs are giving interviews on TVM, interspersed with patriotic songs, news reports and live footage of Nasheed’s resignation and the Vice President’s appointment.

Subsequent to the rebranding of TVM, a government spokesperson told Minivan News the Maldives was in the throes “of an attempted coup”.

President Nasheed subsequently gave a press conference and announced his resignation.

Vice President takes over from Nasheed

Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan was sworn in as President this afternoon. Following his appointment Dr Waheed addressed the nation on TVM, and said he was grateful to the police and MNDF who had made “great sacrifices” to defend constitution.

“Today is the day the rule of law has been established in the country perfectly,” Dr Waheed said.

“I will not order the police, military or any person to do anything against the law – I promise it to the public. Everyone will have the protection of constitution and laws.”

Dr Waheed also said the President and has family would receive protection under the law.

“I call upon all political parties, the Maldives National Defense Force, and the public that this is the time to put aside personal hatreds and jealousies, and prioritise to work for the interests of our nation. And I ensure that we will work to restore peace and prosperity of the nation, to deliver a harmonious and peaceful living to the people.”

Police attack MDP headquarters

A group of police, believed to be affiliated with a ‘starforce’ unit under the former government, reportedly refused to obey an order after dispersing a crowd of opposition protesters at the artificial beach last night.

Minivan News observed a group of protesters and police with batons running south towards the tsunami monument just after midnight, before returning to the artificial beach.

Shortly afterwards, a group of up to 10 people in police clothing attacked the MDP ‘Haruge’, headquarters, smashing some glass.

Following incident at the Haruge, a rogue police unit reportedly arrived in Republic Square and was monitored by MNDF officers. The police were reportedly joined by further officers.

Minivan News is currently seeking confirmation that the home minister was attacked in the violence last night. Former MDP Chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi and senior MDP figures are reportedly being treated in hospital after a stab wound, and there were reports of both police and MNDF officers being treated for head injuries in hospital.

TIMELINE February 7:

10:40 – Minivan News has observed that a large group of MNDF officers have joined opposition demonstrators in Republic Square. The President was reported to be still in Male and under military protection. The opposition is claiming he has been arrested, but the government has disputed this.

10:45 – Many shops and businesses, including the Bank of Maldives, have temporarily closed branches in Male’.

11:01 – A government source confirmed that they were aware that a number of MNDF personnel had joined the demonstrators. Minivan News observed 60-70 uniformed officers.

11:12 – Opposition protesters and rogue police have taken over the Maldives National Broadcasting Commission (MNBC) and are streaming VTV over the station. The occupiers have reportedly renamed it TVM.

11:22 – The headquarters of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has been set on fire.

11:36 – The MNDF personnel who joined the protesters were reportedly given the opportunity to leave if they wished, but were forbidden from taking weapons.

11:41 – The opposition aligned protesters have been issuing President Mohamed Nasheed ultimatums to resign – Minivan News was told 11:30am and 2:30pm by different sources.

11:47 – Government spokesperson confirms country is undergoing attempted coup, after state broadcaster hijacked.

12:13 – President’s office denies widespread reports that Nasheed has resigned. There is a press conference scheduled imminently at the President’s office.

12:32 – Minivan News observed no situation at the airport, contrary to earlier rumours circulating around Male.

12:54 – President’s Press conference is yet to start.

12:56 – MNBC is now showing as TVM, the name of the state broadcaster under President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

12:58 – Press conference has started.

1:19 – President Nasheed announces resignation, stating that his remaining in power would require the use of force against his own population, and he was not willing to do this “foreign influences”. Minivan News is currently clarifying his statements in English.

2:55 – Another press conference has been announced and is expected to start shortly.

3:00 – Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan is due to be sworn in as the 5th President of the Maldives, according to the rebranded Television Maldives (TVM).

4:38 – Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan is addressing the nation on TVM, praising efforts “police sacrifices” to protect the constitution and law.

5:00 – Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, has been reported released.

6:31 –  The mood in Male’ remains tense. Maldivian Democratic Party supporters have been thin on the ground today.


137 thoughts on “Maldives government changes in dramatic scenes after police elements join opposition protest”

  1. We have never thought that our MNDF and the Police will be so corrupted - bloody loosers. We should lable them as "KULEE SIFAN" - bastards was "Sold-Out".
    It's really pitty for me to say such filthy words - but I've NO Choice. If I would have been a grown-up, today I would have hanged them all to death. Internationally the MNDF and Police has concluded a criminal act/offence, against a democratically elected president. They are Terrorists among us. These buggers will do the samething, again if someone pay them few Green-Colour notes.
    I call to U.N. to investigate the matter and immediately to seize all foreign AIDS to Maldives - it's better to die on hunger, rather than seen some JUDGE plays havock in the Judiciary System, to safe guard some bloody UNEDUCATED businessmen.

  2. yuck! imran, May Allah SWT protect the muslims of Maldives from the likes of you... you unbeliever

  3. "Several confronted Minivan News." hehehe. What minivan news? Youre no news agency. Just an internet blog run from a laptop in a bedroom. who would confront you? What a joke.

  4. Sad day for Maldives. Respect to Mr. Nasheed. I know the country and I know that clever people supported him. I met enough of supporters and non supporters. And all were muslims noone should think that Mr. Nasheed is not muslim. He is a REAL one. A peasful one. One for the future. Not mid age!

  5. This is an act of conspiracy against a legally & democratically elected president.
    President Mohamed Nasheed has achieved his objectives in 3 years, which the former dictator who ruled Maldives for 30 years failed to accomplish.

    Still, today Maldives Police and MNDF is under this Dictator's influence.

    In the illegal gathering of today's coup - mostly their was Police without Uniform, pretending to be Civilians - this is a planned act - We're sure that the President Nasheed will be shocked.

    We believe that our President Nasheed was forcefully forced (by putting a GUN on his head) to choose his presidency or the people of the Maldives, where he has given-up his presidency for his fellow countrymen.

    This has showed the educated Maldivian and the world, that he did not rule the Maldives with greed, rather for the love and the betterment of the Maldivians

    Why can't this old Gayoom & his thugs learn something from President Nasheed, where he gave-up the President's Post with Dignity and High-Head.

    He has set an excellent example for the World Leaders, to follow.

    We are proud to say that we have elected a president, like you - and we assure that we are still behind you...

  6. Anni and his loyalists including Reeco Moosa should be tried in the courts of law for all the corruption of his governent and for not respecting our constitution.

  7. We should all unite once again and use this opportunity to set aside party politics and tribalism.

    Nasheed failed because of his attitude. He put the party line above all else while he was handed the important duty of strengthening democracy in the country.

    Yet there are several things that Nasheed did well. Such as supporting cultural initiatives like the resurgence of Boduberu in the field of arts. However for some days his legacy will be marred by his final actions just like Qayyoom's.

    This can be a good day for the Maldives. Let us all be brothers and sisters once again and try to take our country to new heights.

    May god bless you all.

  8. Bye Bye Mr.Nasheed...onto the annals of history right there next to president Ameen..Serves him right for sticking with people like Reecko Moosa, Maria and other corrupt people....The people of Maldives have shown that they are not afraid of Big mouths and irrational brainless Reecko, Maria and Dr.DiDi....RIP guys.

  9. Let me take this opportunity to thank Mr Nasheed for everything he has done for us these past 3 years. Thank u from the bottom of my heart. Thank u for all ur efforts...thank u for the hope. Alas, its sad that so many of are not appreciative and celebrate todays events in their ignorance. This is truly a SAD SAD day!

  10. Thank Almighty that the nation has got rid of a nasty & dumb activist....ashamed that I supported MDP.wise ppl in MDP have been warning Anni all along that this is coming if Anni is listening to greedy and selfish street activists like Sarange,Maria,Reeko & Kerefa.These are the assholes who brought this on Anni.Party Haruges cannot be the place to run a country.This was what Anni & MDP were doing...they deserve what has happened.Bravo Police & MNDF

  11. This country is one of the hopeless country and will lose all investments, trade relations with neighbours and we will see people begging and the jokers who made this happen will run away leaving people in tantrums

    All the best Maldivians enjoy last days of your luxury life

  12. people in Europe love Mr. Nasheed. He is the proof that islam is a friendly and open religion. The "New york times" called him "a hero". A new film ( shows him all over the world. He made Maledives and Islam in a positiv way famous all around the world. Fight for him Male people. In peace of course. But pls try not to listen the voice of violence.

  13. @Boss: I know you are unhappy. I am feeling sad too, but please don't make up shit. Nasheed made a wrong move, broke something and failed to fix it.

    But recent world history tells us that it's the wrong season to wear dictator boots. What the heck was he thinking? Why couldn't he bring the judge to justice? I hope it's not the lack of proof.

  14. I am sick of everyone saying Anni was a democratically elected president. I believe this is a blatant lie. He got his presidential seat becuase of an agreement between his party MDP and all the oppositions who formed a coalition inorder to prevent from Qayyoom coming back to presidency. He didn't win the first ever democratic election held in this country to become the first democratic president. If you guys read the news properly you would all know that. It was Qayyoom who actually won the first ever held democratic election of this country, however he didnt gain the required amount of votes to form the government. Then Anni got the place because the opposition all joined him to block Qayyoom. With time, Anni's coalition left him one by one because of his undemocratic policies. Surely anyone with brains would know that Annis cannot be right right alone incomparison to all his coalition politicians who left him. There must be seriously something wrong in his policies that all of them left him. Here people are blessing him as if he is an angel, but I don't think so. Anni got a great chance to run this country well, but he ruined it with his stuoid policies and ideas. He didn't know how to run this country and his people. Then in the end he started using force against his own people. That is when the very same people who made him the president decided to remove him. So I don't feel any sorry for him. He deserved what he got. He should be glad if he would be pardoned by the people of thsi country. Many families have been harmed by his fierce policies and actions. He is no angel. Many people have lost jobs anf faced unnecessary harassement and bullying by his government and party members. Today he has to pay back for that. This is democracy. Well done maldivians for realising what is good and bad for you.

  15. ...finally the hype has subsided, the capital quite andpeople back to normal wouldnt know there was a change of government a few hours ago.

    ...should we rejoice and chant songs of victory for the resignation of President Nashid?

    ...politicians are diapers, they always have to be changed, but the economic and development ideologies cannot and should not be changed. I fear for Maldives inthenext few months of uncertainty.

    ...let us not deny the fact that we are all split in various parties having absolutely different ideologies and mentalities. We all know Yamin,Umaru and Thasneem can never eat from same plate. The religious mentours believe they are too sacred to share, with other parties that are tainted with either blood, liquor, drugs, or corruption now or in the past.

    ...Politicians in Maldives are known to switch 'seats' for a buck or for other personal reasons we may not know. In actual democratic arena anywhere in the world, a politician will NEVER change from party to party, but may work in coalition. Take a look at our politicians in political, social and economic sense and you would realize that we are heading to the hanging docks!

    ...President Nashid was no saint.He may be lined up with Presidents like Clinton, Sarcozy, Zuma, and many others who had or did something extra ordinary that was disgraceful and unacceptable in society. They all prevailed except Nashid whose reputation and achievements are now tarnished for evidence of illegal substances in his x-palace.

    God would forgive that who may eat something natural and send to hell that who abuse a child, inslave women, steal public money or kill another. I always believe the first question from god to the dead soul is 'what good did you do to humanity?'andifthe bad surpased the good, you go hell like Osama andthe rest.

    ...If we understood a bit of economics,we would not have thrown out Nashidbecause we are much better off than we were a few years ago. Maldivians started to see a future through physical developments and changes, Maldivians today are free than four years ago. Maldivians would have been better off if they were patient tillthe end of Nashids term.

    ...and so we rejoiced and danced and prayed hoping tomorrow the new president will send GMR home, erase GST or any business/profit tax, stop imports of Israel equipments and medicines we use, stop import of liquor, pork (which we get insulin from) and so on.....

    ...we just dug our six foot grave deeper to an extent we cannot see the light above.WHY?

  16. For all I know, Anni had a golden opportunity to move the country forward and to make himself the best president the country ever saw. He lost it because of his own arrogance and idiocy.

  17. Kudos Minivan; for objective reporting.

    This is indeed a sad day for the world, if not for Maldives.

    This is what happens, when people do not speak up for themselves. This is what happens when the ignorant, illiterate, spineless masses are brainwashed and controlled by "parasites".

    Welcome to slavery, exploitation, and misery, Maldives. But then, you guys asked for it.

    And to those of you cowards who never spoke up....and those of you who bend over so readily in submission....enjoy the buggering for the next 20 generations.

  18. What it takes to be a democratic country
    Dear Maldivian friends,
    You have been overruled by your own history. A history forged in dictatorship, a history written with blood and salted water. A history away from respect. I'm afraid that is what it takes to learn about democracy. Here in Spain we had the fascist army occupying the parliament just after democracy was installed, just like you had yesterday some of the police officers co-animating the street riots. But they could not move forward in our country, just like they will not drawback the democracy in the Maldives. It is time for you all to get together and defend what you consider to be the future of your country. Don't let fanaticism take your life. Fanatics are just like beaten dogs, you remove the lash, they bite. They bite because they are afraid of freedom. They bite because they have been beaten all their life. That's all they know. As per police officers, they should know they are not the ones that make the law. They are the armed body of the law but never the law themselves. They execute but don't make the rules. They are not even paid to decide, but paid to serve.
    You have been into the typical troubles of a young, not to say baby, democracy. You have been tested. More problems will come, more tests will take place, until one fine day you will look at your history and you will see that it all made a lot of sense. Gayoom was wrong: you are prepared to be a democracy, in fact you already are, how come what happen could have taken place otherwise. Now it is time to lear and fight to move forward. We are many abroad watching you, helping you, praying, if may say, for you. Keep going, the Maldives is your future ans it is worth to fight for it.

  19. Awesome,this means only one thing for me.
    Simon Hawkins will no longer be able to carry forward the 'Image of Maldives'
    as a copycat cheap Nation with his crappy 100K logo and stupid slogan 'Always Natural'.

  20. We Faresmaathoda ppl are ready to revange.
    Police should remember what they did us during the Mounoon's dictatorship. Ploce did same during this conflict, very soon police gonna suffer.

  21. HAHAHA what a joke that many people including @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb our Addu friend seems to think that Nasheed left because he cared about the people and did not want to create chaos, he left because he had to, he tried eveything he could(creating chaos) including calling a superpower (India), he had to go no way around it, put a fork in him (as hes roasted perfectly), only person to blame is Nasheed himself (sad, all got to his head!!) and as someone said earlier we have to change our presidents from time to time.

  22. @Ahmed on Wed, 8th Feb 2012 3:19 AM

    "HAHAHA what a joke that many people including @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb our Addu friend seems to think that Nasheed left because he cared about the people..."

    Despite your laughter, I truly believe that Nasheed cared about his fellow country men and women. He was shown how ruthless the so-called "Police" can be when they beat up ordinary citizens including members of Parliament, right infront of his eyes.

    Where did the digraced "Colonel" Nazim come from? Afterall, this guy is a disgrace to the whole nation. He couldn't even keep his arse down at the Sandhurst military academy and was disgracefully expelled for his "disreputable" behaviour. He cannot even walk on the same street with someone of the calibre of Brigadier Jaleel who is a graduate and Green Beret from Sandhurst. Jaleel sacrificed his life so we can live to this day. He put his own life on the front line when he faced Tamil mercenaries against impossible odds. These are the kinds of soldiers that had to bow out today because of the illegal military coup! People like Nazim trumped!

    Tell me, do you think that's something we should be proud of?

  23. President Nasheed is a hero. He did indeed step down for the security of the people in this country in the face of a power hungry and greedy opposition and a police and defence force that were bribed to sell their own country to the devils. No matter what any opposition member or supporters say, today our country has been hijacked in the name of democracy and there will be at least half the population of this Country who would not consider this government to be democratically elected and therefore legitimate. Now let's wait and see how we go back to the rule of tyranny so that corrupt judges can reign. Shame on all police and defence force. You people deserve to be beaten up by all of us for selling our trust in you for such a short term gain.

  24. Maldives is not mature to implement a right democratic system. I am working with Maldives international affairs. Pls see that how many projects they got from international level and how much it is effective. Internationally it is noticed now even in UN is watching the current picture. Millions of amount is allocated by the world community, but how much it is going to the common people in the Maldives. The people of Maldives should realize this factor. This is an international facts going on with Maldives.....This will make difficulty in future.....for maldives.

  25. @Mariyam on Wed, 8th Feb 2012 7:10 AM

    "... today our country has been hijacked in the name of democracy and there will be at least half the population of this Country who would not consider this government to be democratically elected and therefore legitimate."

    Very true. I don't consider it a legitimate government! It cannot be as it was brought in at the point of a gun. I'd urge the MDP to organise and form behind a suitable leadership that has the brains to confront this. Let's see how true Waheed and his sponsors are to their words of "rule of law".

  26. JJ Robinson we are looking for you ! By Allah we will spill your blood,if you are in Maldives. If you are outside Maldives stay out and if you come here again we will spill your blood. That goes for your wife too.

  27. EEEEHAHAHAHHOOO. now i can sit in my throne and treat all of maldivians as slaves. while me and my family lives in luxury, the idiots in this country should live like ants in a shit hole provided by adhaalath party. and all of their vehicles will be burned while we import camels and mules for transportation. hehe i didnt know you would forget so easily that i am the master of u all shit heads. well' now here i am so get ready to be fucked. you are too stupid to deserve democracy. and lets forget that 800 million dollars so i can take sleep. OH GOD thanks to you that maldivians are so stupid.

  28. Aishath Aniya on FB :

    "When I went to the Jumhuri Maidhaan (Republican Square) this morning around 6am there was a group of mutinying police armed with vests, baton, pepper spray, etc. With them were a group of Gayoom's supporters armed with metal rods. They were in the middle of the square. A group of Gayoom Supporters were gathered outside the northwestern corner of the Square and Supporters of government were gathered at the southwestern corner of the Square.

    Security forces lined up in front of both groups blocking us from entering the Square. We kept calling for the arrests of coup leaders. Almost two hours later, suddenly the security forces retreated. We started walking up along the Square to the centre.

    Suddenly, the mutineers and Gayoom supporters with them charged at us and ran beating anyone they could lay their hands on. We all got dispersed in different directions. Holding my friend's hand, I ran back and found ourselves in the premises of the Islamic Centre through the north gate. I saw several dozen people running at every direction, some climbing up the steps or going behind doors. Through a passageway in the Islamic Centre I came out from the eastern gate into the road between Islamic Centre and Defense Force Headquarters. We were right opposite the mutineers. We moved forward toward and when we neared them, they charged at us beating up people. We retreated and moved back.

    I saw a youth squatting down and throwing up. He was beaten on the back of his neck and had injuries on his back from the police beatings previous night. I saw another man, very seriously injured, and carried by two other men. We went on moving toward them and each time they charged at us running and beating us. Finally I saw pepper-spray canisters flying up and heard someone yell “run, run, pepper spray!” Instantly I felt the sharp burning on my face and I could hardly breathe or see where I was going. My friend and me holding hands, walked through the Sultan park and headed home.

    On the way, I saw vehicles and people with injuries or hit by pepper spray hurriedly moving away from the area. I came across some of my friends who were with me. I heard people name my friends and people I know, who they say are badly injured. MDP’s former Chairperson Mariya Didi, MP was one of them. She is reportedly held on the ground and kicked by several policemen. She has been admitted into the hospital along with her husband who is in the ICU for severe head injuries. My friend Eva, an MP was dragged into the crowd it seems.

    I recalled those in the front line. Imran. Moosa and Shifaz, both of them MPs were there but haven’t seen them later. I called my two brothers who went with me. They were both in two different locations but unharmed. When I came home I saw Eva’s husband on TV. His shirt was torn away from him and police were kicking and beating him."

  29. Aniya forgot to mention that her so called "colleagues" led a mob with swords and knives. You only get what you ask for.

  30. As someone by the name of Chandra had commented at 9.16PM on this site, we Maldivians should stop pointless analysis and hate mongering.

    We as Maldivian women, let us take the lead and persuade all to get on with their lives for prosperity since this spectacle is over.

    But in the future let us not fall into another trap of division and dis-harmony that would be promoted by the fanatical extremist opportunists.

  31. Yes indeed....

    Bravo, speak up Maldivian women, if you at least, have the balls to do so...

    Do not be fazed by the dogs who terrorize you.

    They are but the brainless mutts who bark and bite for the scraps thrown to them by those worthless few who want to thrive on your sweat and labor.

    Speak up now for yourselves ladies, if you want a future for yourself and your kids.

    For no one else can or will help you.


Comments are closed.