Additional reporting by Mohamed Naahii, Leah Malone
Former President Mohamed Nasheed left the Indian High Commission on Saturday afternoon after seeking “refuge” from police seeking to present him to the Hulhumale Magistrate Court.
Nasheed has maintained that the charges against him – of detaining the Chief Criminal Court Judge during his final days in office – are a politically-motivated effort to prevent him contesting the 2013 elections.
After 11 consecutive days inside the High Commission, Nasheed emerged and was greeted by approximately 600 Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters at a press conference in the Dharubaaruge exhibition hall, across the street from the party’s former protest site at Usfasgandu.
Nasheed emphasised his desire for stability to be restored, following eight days of continuous protests by the MDP, dozens of police arrests, and a violent attack on a Maldivian journalist.
“I have been in the Indian High Commission for the last 11 days and now I have come out with the understanding that I will be able to conduct my peaceful political activities and my normal social life.
“I hope and I believe that this will bring much stability to the very volatile nature of Maldivian politics and our society today. I hope that all the stakeholders all actors will bear in mind that we will have to have a peaceful election and to do that we will all have to forego whatever we have to.
“It is always my wish that democracy is consolidated in the Maldives. It is always my wish that we have a more prosperous life,” Nasheed stated.
MDP supporters were heard cheering during the press conference following Nasheed’s statements.
Nasheed was greeted with joyful applause, chants of “Anni”, and was surrounded by a throng of supporters as he exited the building to give a speech near Usfasgandu.
Nasheed claimed his decision to seek refuge in the Indian High Commission was not pre-planned during his recent visit to the country.
“We are living in a very vibrant period of time. We are never certain when we will get arrested or when we will be released from custody. This is not something faced by myself alone. But the biggest attacks are targeted against me,” he said.
“I believe the danger posed towards me is far graver than others. I have faced more attacks than any other person possible could have faced. But we all should understand that our safety lies at the hands of almighty Allah. We maintain that protection by seeking courage from each other,” he added.
The former President also contended that leaders of all political parties should get the opportunity to compete in the upcoming presidential elections peacefully.
“I came out of the Indian High Commission because I believe I can now carry out political activities and that I too could take part in social activities in the country. My wish has always been that Maldives remains a democracy,” he said.
“I thank the Indian people and its High Commission. I do also thank the people of the Maldives and supporters of MDP. What is now important is that we win the next presidential elections,” he said.
Nasheed repeated his statement that the MDP would contest in the upcoming presidential elections and re-establish its government in the country.
“I believe that the presidential elections will not proceed without all political party leaders being able to fairly compete in it,” he said.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has said it will boycott the elections should its presidential candidate Nasheed – who was been elected through a direct vote from its members – be barred from contesting in the elections.
Nasheed also expressed sadness over the brutal attack against Raajje TV News Head Ibrahim ‘Aswad’ Waheed last night, who is currently fighting for his life in a Sri Lankan hospital.
“I take part in the grieving of the brutal attack on Aswaad. Attacks on journalists hinder our development [as a society]. That is an attack on us, the people. I really do hope that we let go of such vindictive acts and focus on our development and that all of us can compete in the elections,” he said..
Highlighting on the flaws within the judiciary, Nasheed said that he believed that judicial reforms could be “achieved through dialogue and negotiations”.
He also said that delaying his ongoing trial “would not compromise anyone’s rights” and that it was important the next presidential election was “inclusive”.
His short speech was followed by an MDP march around Male’ in support of Nasheed, calling on citizens to support “independent news” following the attack violent on a Raajje TV journalist in the early hours of Saturday (February 23).
Speaking to the Press Trust of India, President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad said the government “welcomes” the development, and that there was no arrest warrant against Nasheed at present.
“I am happy that the longest meeting in the world has ended. We were formally told by the High Commission on the first day that Nasheed had come into the Mission for a meeting and will be out once it is over,” Masood told PTI.
Indian diplomatic efforts
The Indian High Commission expressed hope that Nasheed “will again resume his social and political life.”
“India would be happy to support all efforts to create favourable conditions for free, fair, credible and inclusive Presidential elections in September 2013 that can contribute to durable peace, stability and prosperity in Maldives and the region,” the High Commission said in a statement.
Nasheed’s departure from the protected diplomatic territory – which prevented police from acting on two court warrants for his arrest – follows a series of meetings by Joint Secretary of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
“These interactions have provided some forward movement and the team continues to work further on the available inputs so that the matter could be resolved to satisfaction,” the High Commission stated on Friday, despite various reports in Indian media that President Mohamed Waheed had been unable to meet with the delegation due to his “very busy schedule”.
No information has yet emerged as to whether Nasheed’s exit from the High Commission is related to a specific commitment from the government or Nasheed’s political opponents not to pursue charges against him, ahead of the September 7 presidential elections.
The saga has however led to widespread international backing, including from the UN, US, UK, Commonwealth and EU, that the presidential elections be “inclusive” and that all parties are able to put forward the candidates of their choice in the upcoming elections.
Nasheed’s press conference after leaving the Indian High Commission:
17 thoughts on “Nasheed leaves Indian High Commission, states “desire for stability””
MDP needs a more mature and tolerant leader like Raazi! Nasheed only attracts corrupt and boozers! All Nasheed has done so far is to fuel the fight so that Gayoom's half brother Yameen could win the election and back to old days! MDP MPs need to question the failures of Nasheed due his romance with Mariya and his blind eye to Boozers like Juha, IH Zaki, Sarangu Adam and also child abusers with his core team! Nasheed is a good activist but not a ruling material! He is sincere for greater political reform but not ready to be away from the criminal friends around him like Yameen!
Perhaps Waheed is realising that an election without Nasheed may backfire very badly on him - given he is gone alienated at world level (and people gotten aware that his Chinese card was just bluff).
@Sonu on Sat, 23rd Feb 2013 8:28 PM
"MDP needs a more mature and tolerant leader like Raazi!"
Nah, Raazi doesn't have even half the charisma of Nasheed. Raazi may be technically "better" than Nasheed, but is not presidential material. It's a bit like Gayyoom vs Yameen. Whilst Gayyoom does have plenty of charisma, Yameen has as much charisma as a tuna fish!
Totally agree with you. Naheed is a good activist but simply lacks the skills to run a country. We do not want to be under the rule of Maumoon again. But voting for a mad person like Nasheed is too much of a sacrifice. This country's future is more important than Nasheed or Maumoon. We need someone more capable like Raazi to take the MDP ticket for the presidency.
Why bring up boozers connected with Anni? Why not also mention the super egoists, thieves, looters, fraudsters, womanisers, boozers, drug addicts who surrounded Gayoom in his 30 year old rule. Would you not say that was what caused Gayoom’s downfall??
And why talk about capacity of Nasheed to govern and not talk about the capacity of the man who ruled before him and the man who is ruling now?
Why have you not pointed out the pathetic state of the health infrastructure transport sanitation housing , waste disposal in Gayoom's administration, and the indifference of Gayoom’s administration to further education, training and job placement of the thousands of young people who left school . And the despair and hopelessness of a generation lost that created the space for drug lords to control their minds and bodies wallets and their lives????
Much is being said about the “rif raf” teams under Anni’s administration. Heck, if rif raf could produce the kind of results we saw in the last three years and which we waited 30 years under Gayoom’s rule and failed to see, then bring on the "rif raf" and retire the educated elite who ran the country and failed to deliver.
All leaders make mistakes. If the mistakes they make compromise our safety, our sovereignty, our financial reserves, and the rights of our people to live with freedom, justice and peace, then we should chuck that leader out with our vote. That’s what the people of the Maldives did in 2008.
If the people believe that Nasheed is no longer to be trusted then chuck him out. End of story. Whets the drama about Sonu??
I mean chuck him out with our vote.
Not with a coup.
MDP requires some serious house cleaning before facing elections. Despite being an Anni supporter I very much doubt he can deliver justice to the people. For example, before Yaameen can be brought to trial, his former 'buffer' during his tenure as Trade Minister, Anni's uncle Naseem ( popularly known as Yaameen's Mr Ten Percent ) will require investigation. He is just one among several in the MDP inner circle. As usual only a few small fry will be made to suffer while the real culprits will continue to evade justice.
Many may not like Nasheed as a leader, but in a democracy only the vote counts. No one can gain so much of votes in an election than Nasheed. Nasheed must bring more educated people around him, listen to them and make short and long term plans with consultations with his advisors instead of making policies all by himself. This time around, we need a better and bigger team, inside of all activists.
Hey Sonu! Talking about boozers, show me any human being who has no "bali fai". We are all human beings.
Mahatma Ghandi said, "An eye for an only ends up making the whole world blind".
Juha is one of the most greatest brains ever to be born in Maldives.
Just because he drinks does not mean he is one of the "brains" behind throwing the Gayyoom regime. Wake up!
The man who had ruled the country before Nasheed was much better and stronger in terms of his policies and charisma. Gayyoom also corrupted but Nasheed was even worse.
Looters, Womanisers, drig addicts, rapists, homo sex, Bisuxual, group sex even within the family members, voyeurism his cabinet secretary and some of Naheed MPs. are well known.
I guess Sono just mentioned the abundance the boozers around Fili Nasheed but never want to high light since other kind of people were around Gayyoom too.
No one stoping any political party in participating in the upcoming election and all international community is also calling to have a fair election and not bar any political party.
But this does not mean that criminal should be allowed to participate and criminal should be free ?
In fact Fili Nasheed had done lot more damage than any person to Maldives and he is the biggest traitor to this nation.
Fili Nasheed made a deal on his last trip to India and they made a deal with India to seek the refuge in the Indian Embassy. ?
Fili Nasheed plan was to trap the police and thought that police will barge in to Indian Embassy , there by breaking the international law and then let Indian government to send their armed forces to invade. If Police had forces to enter the indian embassy, then India will have the right to send their armed forces and then it will pave the path for them to invade.
Though India is a large country, and they will not just come and invade this small country knowing that other international community will be watching them too.
India is also wanting to lift their current political profile from 3rd world country to better and much more developed country and want to play much more bigger role globally, which is much more important than invading a Maldives with a population of few hundred thousand.
Nasheed ultimate objective is to bring back GMR and then sell this country to India for few hudred millions and then to run away.
darmn.... only 10 days in his new job and he has quit....
Advertisment in the Indian HC website.
Wanted- Tea boy / Bootpoilsher & licker
Esperiance in being an activist, drug addict, boozer and wanna be president.
hides behind a saree at any given sign of distress... Must have friends who are drug addicts, criminals, rapist, child abusers, an basic jobless fellows who ride around on thier bikes.
i believe in kuribee than the guy with yellow tie.
So only Nasheed's government has had boozers, pedophiles and crooks? If Maldivians could find a way to bottle and export denial with all that tuna, their country's financial problems would be solved!
Listen to the sick comments on this page. Anni wants democracy, a clean judiciary and to spread the wealth to help the whole country. The previous dictatorship was the world longest running brutal and corrupt dictatorship and the idiots comment above want that back?? Obviously they are earning dirty money for airing their opinions.
Guys! Just because Gayoom did all wrongs in this country during his rule does not allow Nasheed to do so again. Remember he was elected to reform the society, but sadly all he did was romancing with Mariya and having drinking parties with boozers in addition to always addressing public but indirectly addressing to Gayoom. MDP needs someone who can take the party and Maldives beyond Gayoom's crimes and Nasheed immature politics! Nasheed is a mere puppet of a greater group!
Yes anyone who has a difference in opinion than Fili Nasheed, then MDP will not accept .
Fili Nasheed and some MDP want everyone to listen to them and obey them? They do understand that Fili naheed had a different constitution to rule the country and he can not follow the foot steps of Gayyoom.
Everytime, when Fili Nasheed does something against the constitution, mDP come out saying that Gayoom did this and that which is just a bull shit.
Fili Nasheed had over three years to get Gayyoom arrested and find the evidence to convict the Gayyoom and his cronies. But Gayyooom was very smart evil and he did all corrupt deal in such a way that people can not prove his guilty.
Sad part is that Nasheed came into power under new constitution which does not allow to rule like the dictator Gayyoom.
But Fili Nasheed had forgotten that and Fili Nasheed was even much open in doing the corrupt deal thinking that he will be able to rule the country as long as he wish . MDP told that they will be ruling the country for next 500 years and Fili Nasheed thought that it is how things will happened and under estimated that the real power is within the people.
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