The MDP have refuted claims within some local media that former President Mohamed Nasheed is seeking a public referendum over the legitimacy of the curent government headed by Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.
While the constitution does grant the President and the Majlis to call public referendums on “issues of national importance”, MDP spokesperson Hamed Abdul Ghafoor assured Minivan News that this was not the MDP’s current policy and that reports suggesting otherwise were inaccurate.
Speaking last night at the conclusion of a short visit to Sri Lanka, Nasheed reiterated calls for President Waheed to step down as the best solution to the constitutional impasse in the country that has seen ongoing protests and calls from international bodies such as the Commonwealth for early elections.
“If the present President steps down immediately, the Speaker of Parliament can take over, and hold an election within two months,” said Nasheed.
The Maldivian Democratic Party’s calls for an early election after what it saw as the illegitimate removal of Nasheed have been met with sympathetic noises from the current President, who has repeatedly claimed powerlessness to the election date bring forward by any more than 120 days.
Instead he has pointed towards the People’s Majlis as the institution capable of amending the constitution. Additionally, it has been pointed out that a constitutional amendment would be necessary to begin a new five-year term after any early poll – the alternative being to have two elections in 18 months.
The MDP has been calling for an early election since Nasheed’s controversial “resignation” from office. Nasheed claims he was forced to resign under duress as part of a coup d’etat”, sponsored by mutinous elements of the police and military alongside opposition politicians and businessmen.
Mirroring Nasheed’s visit to Sri Lanka, Dunya Maumoon, daughter of former President Maumoon Gayoom, and current State Minister for foreign affairs, made clear the difficulty of the ”catch-22” situation when she spoke with the Sunday Times.
“The MDP says they are not going to let anything proceed unless a date is given for an election. We are adamant that they don’t bully us by holding on to that election date,” explained Dunya.
On Nasheed’s first trip abroad since leaving office, he courted senior diplomats and the press in Colombo in order to build pressure on the current government to accede to the global demands for early elections.
Nasheed’s suggestion comes at a time when alternative methods to resolve the impasse continue to falter. The government was reported yesterday to have refused to continue dialogue with the MDP whilst it carried out what it deemed “terrorist” attacks.
President’s Office Spokesan Abbas Adil Riza believed that some of Nasheed’s discussions whilst in Colombo were intended to build pressure on the government to release those arrested during recent unrest.
“MDP is trying to label the arrested as political prisoners. But the government will not agree to discussions if the MDP preconditions the release of the perpetrators arrested during the recent acts of violence in the country,” Abbas is reported to have said.
The opening of the People’s Majlis last Monday saw renewed violence on the streets of Male’ which prompted the security forces’ removal of the MDP’s ‘Justice Square’ at Lonuziyaaraiy Kohlu. Police Superintendent (SP) Ahmed Mohamed stated at the time that the raid was deemed necessary due to the suspicion that illegal activities were being planned and committed at the camp.
The ensuing court case to determine the legality of this seizure continues this afternoon.
Meanwhile, the MDP has publicly condemned all acts of violence, in particular those targeting police officers, which have seen four law enforcement officials hospitalised in the past week.
The eventual opening of parliament on Monday represented the attainment of one of the seven points on the agenda identified in the all party ‘roadmap’ talks.
While this may have brought hopes of some light at the end of the tunnel, the fractious manner of the inaugural speech; President Waheed struggled to make himself heard over heckling MPs, suggests that its record for poor productivity may continue.
MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy, shortly after the event, stated his doubts that the Majlis would be able to bring forward elections in the way his party desired.
“I don’t think it will be possible through the Majlis,” Fahmy said. “A lot of MPs in the parliament supported the coup.”
The intransigence of the largest party could limit the progress of talks in the Majlis and the alleged refusal of the government to continue dialogue with the MDP hints that the all-party talks as a forum for progressive debate may have again broken down once more.
It was a failure to successfully open the Majlis on March 1 amidst MDP protests that saw a number of political bodies, including the DRP and PPM, to walk away from the all-party talks designed to provide a solution to the stalemate. The opening of the Majlis was a condition required by some attendees to facilitate the resumption of these negotiations.
10 thoughts on “MDP dismisses reports of referendum, reiterates call for Waheed’s resignation”
President Nasheed responded to a query from a Sri Lankan journalist that he did not disagree with the idea of holding of a referendum, "framing a query" in his words, to decide on the legitimacy of the new government, if it was the way to break the stalemate in which the two sides have been locked in.
If theres a stalemate the board must be arranged for a new game.... Anni loves to play chess?? i challenge him for just one game, i play black 😀
Why is everyone shouting for elections,referendums etc?
Why cannot we find out exactly what happened with an open and transparent inquiry?
This is the only logical and legal way forward. If anything has happened the first thing is to find out the facts and how they happened. This cannot be done by listening to what the public or certain people say. This has to be facts and these statements has to be cross examined. Only then we know what happened. Just because someone says that the Police or the MNDF forced Anni to resign we cannot believe and accept this in any legal sense.
So once the facts have been established, then the path to go forward is clear to everyone and there is nothing the MDP or the Government can contest. So long as this is not done, all this trouble would continue.
There is no real stalemate here. It's only some people fit this word to the present situation.The fact is that the current Govt is a bit too lenient towards former president Mr Nasheed and his hardcore activists.If MDP wants to go ahead as a professional political party,excommunicating him will not be a bad option for the betterment of all of us and M D P in particular.
President Nasheed, Sri Lanka will support you in any way they can. I believe in that. Sri lanka despises the Games played by India; India,who was very much behind this coup and acted the role of puppet of Hilary Clinton; the witch of the west!DO NOT TRUST INDIA . India has HIDDEN AGENDAS! INDIA FUNDED LTTE TERRORIST INVASION OF MALDIVES; AND THEN CAME TO (ACT) AS IF INDIA WANTED TO COME TO THE RESCUE!ITS BREEDING TERRORISM IN INDIA. MAY BE THE MUSEUM WAS VANDALIZED BY INDIANS!KEEP AWAY FROM INDIA, SHE WILL NEVER BE A SUPERPOWER! IN THE YEARS TO COME INDIA WILL HAVE A LOT OF TROUBLE IN HER THRESHOLD . INDIA HAS CREATED THE TROUBLES MALDIVES IS EXPERIENCING TODAY.
What happened to the inquirey? We need an international member on the panel to guaranttee fair play - aka CMAG.
"Iterate", you infidel illiterate! You iterate something first, you re-iterate after it's been iterated. Time for you to be garrotted on the spot!
We, as citizens of the Maldives, have had enough of demo-crazy; enough of its chaos and cacaphony. The melody and peace of Islam and shar'ia, is all that we desire!
Only then will we be able to salvage some virtue from our harlot women, and discipline them as we see fit!
Presendial Election will only be on 2013.
Dr. Waheed is not stupid idiot like Anni . Anni asked his cabinet to resign for no reason and then he himself resigned. Now he trying to bring that as a culture to Maldives.
Anni you better get loss with your few yellow fever crowed .
Dear Dhivehi Hanguraama
If you're referring to the reporter's use of the word reiterate, I think you'll find he is correct! The former President is reiterating what he has already said!! No need for name calling.
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