Maldives’ suspension from CMAG lifted, remains on agenda as “matter of interest”

The Maldives is to remain on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)’s agenda under the item “Matters of Interest to CMAG”, however its suspension from the international body’s democracy and human rights arm has been revoked.

The decision means Foreign Minister Abdul Samad will be able to able to participate in CMAG affairs following the Maldives’ suspension in February over concerns about the nature of the transition of power.

A Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) claimed in August that the transfer of power was legitimate, that former President Nasheed was not under duress, and that there was no police mutiny.

Despite significant reservations regarding evidence and witness statements that had not been considered, Nasheed said he was accepting the findings for political expediency. However it had, he said, left the Maldives “in a very awkward, and in many ways, very comical” situation, “where toppling the government by brute force is taken to be a reasonable course of action. All you have to do find is a narrative for that course of action.”

In the CMAG statement, “Ministers noted the report’s conclusion that the change of President in the Republic of Maldives on 7 February 2012 was legal and constitutional, but also that certain acts of police brutality had occurred during that period which should be further investigated. They looked forward to advice from the Government of Maldives on progress with those investigations.”

CMAG also “underlined their concern that all parties in Maldives needed to work towards resolving the climate of division and discontent in order to bring about lasting national reconciliation.”

“Ministers noted the importance of ensuring that the Majlis worked purposefully on critical legislation, without further risk of disruption. Ministers again urged against any actions that might provoke or incite violence.”

Nasheed is this week facing trial for defaming the Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim for describing him as a “baghee” (traitor), and detaining Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed during his administration. Nasheed’s party have dismissed the charges as an attempt to convict and disqualify Nasheed from the upcoming Presidential elections, using courts loyal to the former 30 year regime.

“Ministers urged party leaders to commit to dialogue, paving the way to credible elections. Ministers emphasised the need to ensure that all parties and leaders are able freely to conduct election campaigns,” the CMAG statement read.

“In accordance with CMAG’s enhanced mandate, as agreed by leaders at the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Ministers further agreed that they would continue to engage with Maldives positively and constructively to support Maldives in advancing the Affirmation of Commonwealth Values and Principles, in particular in strengthening the judiciary, in the process of democratic consolidation and in institution building. In this context, Ministers asked the secretary-general to continue to brief the Group on progress in Maldives, including at CMAG’s next meeting,” read the statement.

“Accordingly, CMAG agreed to continue to monitor the situation in Maldives, and to move consideration of Maldives in future to its agenda item “Matters of Interest to CMAG”. Ministers looked forward to Maldives’ resumption of full participation at CMAG’s next meeting, in the absence of any serious concerns.”

On the agenda

The CMAG placed the Maldives on its formal agenda in February although President Waheed’s government has maintained that the group “lacked the mandate“ to to so.

Waheed’s government also spent £75,000 (MVR 1.81 million) on advice from former UK Attorney General and member of the House of Lords, Baroness Patricia Scotland, in a bid to challenge what they deemed was the Commonwealth’s “biased” stance on the Maldives, and has continued to express disapproval at what it terms “interference” by the Commonwealth.

“It is my belief that the Commonwealth and its institutions have treated us very badly,” wrote President Waheed’s Special Advisor Dr Hassan Saeed in a newspaper column.

“I would now argue that if CMAG does not remove the Maldives from its agenda, we should end our relationship with the Commonwealth and look to other relationships that reflect modern realities of the world.”

The Hulhumale Magistrate Court has meanwhile confined Nasheed to Male’ ahead of his trial this week. His legal team have expressed concern over a host of irregularities, such as the appointment of a panel of three judges not from the Hulhulmale court – that they say will deny the former President a fair trial.

The matter is likely to come to a head this week, after Nasheed’s party decided that it would no longer follow any orders given by the courts of the Maldives until the changes proposed by international entities were brought to the Maldivian judicial system.

The party said the decision was reached as to date, they had observed no efforts to improve the judicial system based on the recommendations put forward in reports released by numerous international organisations.


23 thoughts on “Maldives’ suspension from CMAG lifted, remains on agenda as “matter of interest””

  1. May be this is the best course of action for now.

    What is Anni trying to achieve? What does the country now need most? What would be the future?

    Face these questions head on. Do not use side short cuts!

    What we need is a stable economy, where there are enough jobs for the people, where we can raise families safely, where the country prospers.

    1) The biggest threat is the religious idiots in town. Their medieval hunger for everlasting heaven. We need to sideline these hate mongering con artists, away from the decision making entities.
    2) To get a stable economy, we have to reduce the number of inhabited islands and focus on the selected ones for habitation.

    Other stuff is minor.

  2. actually the biggest threat to Maldives is always by the secular idiots in town. their pre-medieval hunger for ever lasting hell! (omg! who'd want that?) Anyways, we have to sideline these hate mongering con artists away from the decision making entities.

  3. As if Commonwealth matters.
    Even if the item is left on the Agenda, nothing would happen.

    This is a just a symbolic/ PR victory for Waheeds gov.

  4. This a greate PR victory. Waheed's strategic approach to business is winning him popular support in Maldives. Nasheed is history ofcourse.

  5. This is a victory for the Waheed administration no matter how this is spun.

    Also the Conservative Party managed to insert some last-minute concessions on Nasheed's behalf.

    It is heartening to see that the Maldivian government could make some gains considering the odds it was up against.

  6. we have seen things when unfold right before our eyes. Anni had created that situation and he did not know how to handle it . This was the failure of anni.

    Anni need to understand that he has lot of supporter but there are many more who does not support him.

    We need peace and harmony and our economy need to prosper and we should not be a victims of the cults or follower of the cult.

  7. The best thing is,Anni ( Nasheed) should be eliminated, as well the Dictator Gayoom as well. Then there will be a New Maldives. Nasheed and the dictator Gayoom is the biggest threat to the people of Maldives.

  8. There are none as blind as those who refuse to see!!!

    How naive can one be ignoring the fact that President Nasheed came to power in spite of polling a measly 25% of votes, thanks in large measure to the stand taken by the Islamic scholars. How naive could one get to ignore the fact that President Gayoom lost the presidency in spite of polling over 40% of the vote thanks once again in large measure to the stand taken by the same Islamic scholars.

    The reality is that Democracy is thank God here to stay and so every vote counts. It’s in the best political interests of our “pining to be counted as secularists” not to forget this reality and so alienate an electorate that are still largely sensitive to their roots and so very much in synch with respected Islamic scholars. Any politician with a modicum of commonsense and claims to being a democrat cannot forget that he/she is striving to represent the electorate. President Nasheed learned to his detriment that alienating the electorate that got him elected is suicidal in a democracy.

    The contrast between President Nasheed & President Waheed is stark. On the one hand President Nasheed totally ignored the sensibilities of the electorate that he represented and made a mockery of the rule of law that he was constitutionally bound to uphold; a la Mugabe or wannabe Idi Amin. President Waheed on the other hand with commendable calm befitting a sage, seemed to relish making all efforts to learn and understand the electorate that he represented. Thus bringing his huge experience and training into play he has repeatedly stressed that democracy has finally come to Maldives and that he was its Guarantor – at least, during his watch.

    The blight that the last 3 years under President Nasheed has been beyond anyone’s worst dreams... Incredibly he and his clique has dragged the country 15 years behind - bringing the once thriving economic activity in this country to a near standstill and sold off almost all our national assets. Worst of all he has with single minded purpose established the culture of violence, confrontation and discord as the norm in our political life. After the chaos it’s good to have a democrat at the helm and it’s been fascinating watching how President Waheed has surrounded himself with the cream of Maldivian intelligentsia to weather the most turbulent times this nation has probably ever faced since distant history.

    I hope that under President Waheed just as he has stated time and time again that he had no intension of interfering with the judiciary; he would ensure that President Nasheed have his day in court. It’s our prayer that transparent just justice is served on President Nasheed for all to see. Every citizen of Maldives would be waiting & watching and I’m sure that President Waheed with his democratic credentials and training realizes that he would be judged by history on how well he gets this just right.

    In one stroke President Waheed is presented with an opportunity to show the Maldivian public – Men, Women & even children – his supporters and detractors that the RULE OF LAW has at last truly come to Maldives. It’s imperative that Maldives be shown that nobody is above the law, be it President Nasheed, the President, his ministers or citizen Ahmed, Mohamed, Hawwa or Amina.

    Before anything else let President Waheed get this right!

  9. @Ah mad

    What rule of law, Ah mad? Rule of Law disappeared the day Judge Abdulla ruled that authors who wrote the book slandering President Nasheed could not be questioned by the Police. This, my dear chap was the moment the government of President Nasheed unravelled.

    Rule of law disappeared the day armed officers rose against President Nasheed.

    Rule of law disappeared when the CNI

    a) did not take the statement of Umar Naseer who had publicly proclaimed that he headed the Command Centre to topple Nasheed's government
    b) did not include ctv footage of events of February 7 in its reporting.
    c)Did not include videos , photos and the statements of many people who testified.

    Rule of law disappeared when the current judges were sworn in as judges before the Judges Act came into law, violating our constitution.

    The simple fact of the matter is that a group of people who never accepted Nasheed as President and removed him. It just happened a lot later than they planned.

    The fact is nobody wil be allowed to lead the Maldives if they do not have the sponsorship of Almighty Maumoon.

    The fact is that there is no rule of law in the maldives.
    Maldives is effectively a Police State .

    A lot of lessons to be learnt from this experience.

  10. PR win??, haha is this rudder fin commenting on this. How can you justify transforming of powers with out a Vote. Waheed does not have a single seat in parliment, his own party does not have enough people in it to call it a party which is 3000 people, so go on show us your popularity's, if you get more than 3000 vote I'll walk upside down. Yeah Ma ekolhu kolhun hingaa nan

  11. @Fathun:

    We need awareness programs for persons such as yourself about the rule of law and the essentials of democracy.

    We also need to help you understand specific case studies such as the one you've described.

    According to the law of the country, no one can be held in detention for more than 24 hours in connection with a crime without being brought in front of the courts.

    Also, no one may be arrested without a court warrant unless those arresting him are reasonably convinced that he may commit a crime if left free.

    Then comes Judge Abdulla Mohamed's decision to refuse police requests to keep Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed under arrest. A judge is free to rule on individuals cases within the law and no one but a superior court of appeal may overrule the judge's decision.

    So Abdulla was justified in refusing the police request. If you don't believe a lowly brown-skinned Maldivian like me refer to the opinions of the head of Australia's chapter of the International Commission of Jurists who says Abdulla did nothing wrong as a judge and Nasheed's arrest of the Judge was merely a case of the government breaching the law after not liking a judge's ruling.

  12. Baroness Scotland has taken the bribe and blood money for he personal gain. The MDP stand for freedom of speech and democracy and you have spat on that! Do you not jnow he history??

    If the UK had a brutal doctatorship you would understand the suffering we are under now from the old regime and grossly inadequate judicary. How dare you financially profit from our pain.

  13. "A Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) claimed in August that the transfer of power was legitimate, that former President Nasheed was not under duress, and that there was no police mutiny."

    There can be a 1000 reports such as this!

    This was never the truth! There was police mutiny and President Nasheed was left with no option. He was forced to resign!

    We the Maldivians and those watching it on TV saw the built up and execution of a coup.

    This happened; no matter what is written or spun and said!

    Maldives is lucky to be sitting in the CMAG though under scrutiny, I guess!

  14. Maldives taken out of CMAG agenda but remains on the "Giyaamaiy Dhuvahuge Agenda". Nazim will try his best in the forthcoming Hajju.

  15. @tsk tsk

    Thank you for taking on educatingpeople such as myself about the rule of law and the essentials of democracy.

    You seem to have an excellent grasp of the judicial system , and law. Could you therefore clarify for me how a judge can file a case in court to stop the Judicial Services Commission from investigating the said judge? I understand that the Judical Services Commissiom is, according to the constitution the watch dog of judges and the judicial system. So how does a court order the JSC about what it can and cannot do?

  16. @Fathun:

    Ah good. Let's all converse and keep an open mind.

    The issue lies with the framing of the law. The Judicial Services Commission is the statutory body tasked with looking into complaints against judges and taking action against them accordingly.

    They are also required to set out the procedures for disciplinary proceedings. The courts cannot overrule a decision reached by the JSC.

    However (and this is where most news outlets in the Maldives have failed to grasp the issue), in any country of the world, all administrative tribunals are subject to judicial review if they fail to follow the procedures set out for their proceedings. For example if a tribunal has the final say on a matter, its findings can still be challenged on the grounds that it had failed to follow its on rules or basic procedures such as providing the accused a fair hearing.

    I believe Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed's complaint against the JSC was because the statutory body failed to provide him with the chance to speak in his own defense before they took action.

    According to my legal training and the decisions of courts in most liberal democratic jurisdictions, an administrative decision can be challenged on these grounds and it should be in order to ensure that every citizen gets a fair hearing.

    Please read more on this subject.



    My point is exactly this. Democracy is a new concept to the Maldives and we must all accept that there is a lot we have to learn about how the system works. We should not just blindly follow the directions of politicians. We would be better served by getting our information from civil society groups or academics.

    Thank you Fathun for having the decency to ask questions and listen to answers.

  17. CNI report is biased because , Dr Waheed bribed UK, US, India and the common wealth and UN. How great the Waheed to bribe them all.

    These MDP thugs will not accept anything other than what is in favor of them. But this does not mean that entire MDP is fake but its only thugs and Anni supporters.

    I don't know how long this cult can keep their followers under his feet ? For sure the cult can not keep them occupied for ever.

  18. Somebody, please give this joker some valium or something stronger so he can sleep through the rest of this century!

  19. @tsk tsk

    And why exactly did the JSC not give this Judge Abdulla an opportunity to have his say? Who in the JSC stopped that from happening? isn'tr that something we citizens should be told by now?

    Personally I cringe everytime this manAbdulla is referred to as a judge after what he asked a child to demonstrate the actions of her molester in court ( letter from Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed to His Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayoom when he was President of the Maldives requesting disciplinary action to be taken against the said judge).

    It appears that neither the JSC or Dr Hassan Saeed were able to discipline this judge.

  20. Mody Ah vedu Salam.

    What the f--k you want ? You can not digest anything against your cult and that is exactly what i am saying.

    It does not matter whether it is right or wrong ? Is Anni a saint ?

    All the countries and bodies I have mentioned had endorsed the Coni report .

    Dr. waheed is much more smarter than idiots like Anni.

    Anni is trying to ruin the country since he had millions of dollars in his accounts and he doe snot care about the country or people and he behind the power and money.

    Majority of Maldivian do not want him back ever and you will see it even in 2013 if he is ever be able to contest.

    80% the election happened after 7th Feb. is won by other not MDP and this shows and proves that the majority of Maldivian are sick about this idiot Anni.

    Get the facts and then speaks and no point of shouting at yourself .

  21. CONI Report was bought by Yameen from Judge Sevlam of Singapore and modified by AG Azima Shukoor. It's the truth behind the fake CONI Report.. Some people who post comments on this article are blind as they dont see the police mutiny on that day.. hihih Pardon me if I made you unbelievers unhappy 🙂

  22. @Fathun:

    Again, one must have spent time in the judiciary or actually read the letter sent by Dr. Hassan Saeed to Qayyoom regarding Justice Abdulla to make such claims.

    You are merely repeating allegations made by members of the MDP in the media.

    The actual case you are referring to happened like this;

    - Judge Abdulla Mohamed was presiding over a criminal case brought before him by the police before the establishment of the PG Office.

    - The Police had charged an individual with public indecency.

    - The Police presented two underage witnesses to the Criminal Court who testified that they had seen the defendant and co-defendant committing sex acts. In layman's terms this means that the young witnesses had said in court that they had seen the people charged by the police having sex.

    - Judge Abdulla Mohamed used his power as a judge to demand that the young people demonstrate that they knew what they were saying. This was a concern as the police could have made them use words they did not know the meaning of.

    - There is a precedent in English common law as well where underage witnesses are put under this harsh test to see whether they understand what they are saying. Also it is regrettable in this instance that the police had used minors to pursue a case of public indecency. Then again this was before the current democratic Constitution was enacted.

    - To Judge Abdulla's credit, he had actually made a fair ruling in this case.

    I am not saying anyone is a saint, but please refer to the background of that incident. Dr. Hassan Saeed was Qayyoom's political appointee and a rival of Abdulla Mohamed due to internal politics within the court system. Also Abdulla Mohamed was on bad terms with the Qayyoom administration because he kept on releasing political detainees held by the Qayyoom administration under the 1997 Constitution which gave unfettered powers of arrest to the government.

    So there you have it. I hope I have been helpful.

    Just remember, if we discuss a serious allegation regarding a person we should always try to get the facts from a primary source. Mass media is used as a political tool in every country across the world and is not the best source for simple facts. Also if we discuss an academic point, for example a legal issue, then we must look to the experts for an explanation and not political activists.

    Thank you so much Fathun, for listening and directing your questions to me. Hope I've been helpful.


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