Opposition meets Vice President, pledges allegiance and urges him to take control of executive

The ‘December 23 alliance’ of eight political parties and a coalition of NGOs met Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan at his official residence, Hilaaleege, at 1:00am last night, pledging allegiance and urging him to assume control of the executive.

The meeting followed the 14th consecutive night of opposition-led protests against the government’s ongoing detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, after the judicial watchdog obeyed a Civil Court injunction to halt its investigation of the judge.

Last night’s protest started outside Reefside on Orchid Magu, during which protesters reportedly threw black ink at riot police.

Police pushed back the crowd around 10:15pm, dividing them up in the process, but the protest continued in the area and protesters were seen eating rice pudding. An MNBC One cameraman was reportedly hit on the head and was rushed to hospital in a police ambulance.

The steering committee of the protests then gathered for a meeting at the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) office around 11.15pm. The meeting was attended by Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Deputy Leader Umar Naseer, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader Ahmed Mohamed, Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Secretary General Abdulla Ameen, Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla, Jumhooree Party (JP) Secretary General Fuad Gasim, NGO coalition chairman Sheikh Ibrahim Didi and a representative of Dr Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP).

The party leaders emerged from the DRP office around 12.45am and headed towards the VP’s official residence, next door to the Justice building. Opposition supporters were gathered in the area when they arrived.

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers with shields soon arrived and cordoned off the area. At 1:40am officers entered the Vice President’s residence through the back door and a few minutes later Naseer and the rest of the party leaders came out of the building.

They then headed to the Jumhooree Party (JP) office for a press conference. A team of MNBC reporters were refused entry.

According to local media, the opposition leaders asked for a meeting with the Vice President because of the government’s “destruction” of the judiciary and “the President’s declaration that he would not hold the 2013 presidential election.”

An audio clip of President Mohamed Nasheed vowing to ensure a fair judiciary before the 2013 presidential election was leaked to local media yesterday.

In the recording Nasheed is heard to say: “Freedom of expression and an independent and fair judiciary in this country – I will not go for the election after these five years without doing these two things.”

Several local media outlets reported the comment as a threat from the President not to hold elections unless the judiciary was reformed. The President’s Office yesterday said the statement was a promising to reform the judiciary before the conclusion of the President’s first term in office: “He has no intention of calling off any elections.”

After last night’s meeting in Hilaaleege, Umar Naseer said all the parties in the opposition alliance have agreed to “pledge support to the Vice President.”

Speaking to DhiTV after the meeting, Naseer said the members of the alliance decided to meet the VP to discuss the current situation.

“After these discussions we are now calling upon the nation’s security forces, on behalf of our ‘December 23 alliance’ of all the opposition parties in the country as well as the NGO coalition, to immediately pledge their allegiance to the VP,” Naseer said.

“I repeat, all members of the December 23 alliance are now calling on the security forces to immediately pledge allegiance to Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik and, as Mohamed Nasheed has violated the constitution, to not obey any of his orders and to pledge allegiance to the Vice President.”

Dr Waheed had assured the party leaders he would “take any legal responsibility he had to within the bounds of the law”, Naseer stated, and was “ready to take over the duties specified in the constitution.”

The stand of the ‘December 23 alliance’ was that President Mohamed Nasheed has “lost his legal status”, DhiTV reported.

President Mohamed Nasheed’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair told Minivan News today that the Vice President “has not said anything to cause a loss of confidence in him by the government. He was very careful in his statement, which was that he would undertake his duties as stipulated in the Constitution. Had the protesters gone to meet with [Fisheries Minister] Dr Ibrahim Didi or [MDP MP] Reeko Moosa they would have said the same thing.”

The protesters claimed to represent 13 political parties and 21 NGOs, Zuhair said, “but all the rallies have seen the involvement of no more than 300-400 people. It is very disproportionate.”

“I think the protests are slowing down and now they are trying to save face – pledging allegiance to the Vice President is the same as pledging allegiance to the government. The VP is working in cabinet today – there is no rift. This is a non-story,” he maintained.

The government was not concerned about Dr Waheed’s late night meeting with opposition leaders, as letting the protesters into his house “was the polite thing to do,” Zuhair said.

He also dismissed opposition claims that there was anti-government sentiment brewing in the security forces.

“The security forces have shown themselves to be a disciplined and absolutely professional force loyal to he government. There is no cause for any concern,” Zuhair said.

Legally, President Nasheed can only be impeached with a two-thirds (51) majority in the 77 member parliament. The combined opposition parties can marshal 36 members to the MDP’s 35 – without considering the six independents – so a decision to impeach would require the unlikely cooperation of at least nine ruling party MPs.

Dr Waheed was not responding to calls at time of press. However in a blog post on January 21 regarding the government’s detention of Abdulla Mohamed, he said he was “ashamed and totally devastated by the fact that this is happening in a government in which I am the elected the Vice President.”

He subsequently gave a press conference in which he requested the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) suspend Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed from the bench while complaints against him remain outstanding, “because as you can see [keeping him on the bench during questioning] has created more disruption than we all had bargained for.”

The JSC this week told parliament that it is unable to take action against the judge after he filed an injunction in the Civil Court halting the investigation.

Aishath Velezinee, former president’s member at the JSC, argues that “if the judicial watchdog can be overruled by a judge sitting in some court somewhere, then the JSC is dysfunctional. But that’s what has been happening,” she asserted.


34 thoughts on “Opposition meets Vice President, pledges allegiance and urges him to take control of executive”

  1. Hmm...interesting.

    Of course Waheed has ambitions of his own.

    Still one cannot conclude how things may unfold. Has Andrew provided any help during his visit JJ?

    You and Eleanor don't seem to possess the required strategic thinking and experience yet the young MP may be able to offer some insight.

  2. the only duty that he has to take over under the constitution is to "do what the president request him to do". send him and his family off to a nearby island already... and ask him to... i dont know.. like make himself useful.

  3. Enough about this crap. A "sorcerer" has been arrested. YES< A SORCERER. Is Maldives going to go through a witch-hunting era witnessed in the middle ages in Europe


  4. Zuhair is right to play this down. Just Umar Naseer acting like an idiot as usual. But if I were Dr Waheed, I would want to clear my name and put distance between the Vice President and these crazy opposition people. Still, the VP has never had very good political judgement... That's why they call him 'tub of lard' behind his back.

  5. For the sake of this country and its citizens, Nasheed should now resign from his Presidency post. He should clearly know by now that he is not the favourtite amongst the majority of ordinary maldivians and hence should have some self esteem to resign and give the power to the people. He has no right to with hold elections, thats far more dictatorship than any previous Qayyoom and its against the constitution and democracy. Anni is trying to rule us like the previous Burma regime.

  6. Yep, the Opposition will pledge their allegiance to the VP for as long as it takes to overthrow this government. The moment its done, I wonder what will become of the poor fellow. Hope he's not as stupid as the Opposition seems to think he is. If he can be fooled by a no-brainer like Umar Naseer, then that would be a really sad day for this Country. And interesting to read that the President is the one who has destroyed the Judiciary...yep, these guys are getting more and more desperate by the day. The esteemed Judge Abdulla must have really helped these guys mint their millions and stay out of jail!!!

  7. Islam is right on this one. I have always wondered why is Dr. Waheed is idiotic in his political decisions? He seems to make the wrong decisions all the time. He lost the MDP elections and then in a huff went back to USA or wherever he came from.
    Then he got the opportunity to become VP and he accepted this but never supported Nasheed in the Government at all. He always wanted to be the President instead of the President and never stopped scheming to become one.
    He should openly and privately support the President and make himself the 2nd man after the President so that he can run himself in 2018 but no, he wants to become the President now.
    He even contemplated joining Yameen before the 2008 elections as his VP too just in case.
    Waheed would do anything to become the President but as Maryiam says the opposition would dump him as soon as and if he becomes the President.

    I feel sorry for him sometimes. It is rather pathetic to see him stab the President in the back as this is undermining the President. Forget about Nasheed being the President. If Waheed does this to Nasheed he would do this to anyone too. As for people saying that he was sidelined, that is not true from the start. He started getting sidelined because he started to get involved with people who are anti government and started opposing government policies.

    Just look at the facebook of the General Sec of his party, Thoufeeg or better known as Topee. You would see what I am saying.

    This is a disgrace.

  8. Dr. Waheed has go to be a horribal politician. But a genuinly nice guy. So Zuhair was right, of course he'll do the "polite thing" - that is what nice guys do. But all this on him betraying the government is just hogwash. If anyone betrayed - its Anni betraying Dr Waheed. The moment they took over Anni sidelined Waheed and all the coalition partners. Dr. Waheed is the only person in government who is credible anymore. He's the only politican in Maldives who does the right thing for sake of doing the right thing. Horrible politician. Or great one?

  9. I'm absolutely that Dr Waheed has more sense and intelligence than to back this group of opportunists whose sole aim is in bringing down the government at any cost.

    Just look at their makeup with Umar Naseer doing the bidding. If this is not a marriage of convenience then I don't know what is! I'm sure Dr Waheed can see through all of this from a million miles. Their sudden love for him is not because of any respect they have for the VP. This is the last gauntlet being thrown; the endless nights of protests don't seem to be getting anywhere. They are getting frustrated.

    Dr Waheed won't fall for this, and I'm quite confident about that.

  10. Oh, one more thing I forgot to say. The biggest aim of that group who met Dr Waheed was to create disarray in the Cabinet! They know that Dr Waheed has his own deeply held beliefs and opinions and they're trying to use him as a pawn in THEIR power game.

    This is the classic "divide and conquer" tactic being laid down. I don't know who came up with this, but it sure won't have been Umar Naseer, although as usual he will claim everything for himself.

    I really do not understand how educated people like Ahmed Mohammed of DRP can be seen in the company of idiot boys like Umar Naseer. Hunger for power can drive a man to unexpected lengths, I guess.

  11. I beg differ on the opinion that he was sidelined. Drugs, Environment and health big issues that he's been entrusted to work for. Does he do that? I don't know. it's really sad that he became a victim of Yaamin.

  12. MDP should thank their stars for having Ali Waheed on their side. Without him, Alhan and Abdulla Ab Raheem things would have been quite difficult.

  13. @mari. do tell us, who have never heard of anything constructive that the VP has done, some of the good things that you seem to know. He has been giving UN like speeches and complaining why he cannot do things whenever I have heard him. As Yoga says he was given climate change and drugs what did he achieve there. I am sure he will find enough excuses why he could not do.

  14. Poor old Waheed - the MDP don't trust him as far as they can throw him, and the opposition only want to use him like a condom, for a quickie now, to be disposed of later. Being the VP must be a lonely life.

  15. Bin Addu and Yoga you guys have highlighted some of the issues but as someone who knows from the inside Waheed is a no win situation.
    He is a nice guy but he has one ambition and that is to become the President.
    Now this sidelining is a lot of bollocks.
    He was not sidelined initially but eventually Waheed is being influenced and controlled by his wife and her family.He was asked many times to join the MDP once again even by Anni but these people refused to let him do it.
    I see why no reason why he should not join as if Waheed remembers well it is this current MDP people like Anni and Zuhair were highly involved in his election even when he ran for Majlis.
    So Waheed joining the MDP would have been good for him and also for MDP and the country too as he would be a calming influence.
    Having too much ambition is never good for anything.
    Then when you look at people like Thowfeeg(topee) in his party, he left DRP because he lost the nomination to run for Majlis in their primary. He got angry and left and joined Waheed's party. He is not there because he likes Waheed. He is there because he sees Waheed as a tool to destroy Anni.
    It is a pity that Waheed's son Salim seems to be a sensible chap most of the time and Waheed should listen to him more than his wife or her family.
    It is the Gayoom story once more. The Kaamineege clan vs the Enderimaage clan.

  16. Seems those Malu Dhivehin who claims to be some political analyst paints the picture as if there is political game by oppositions to play a conspiracy. The real issue is the narrow-mindedness, ignorance, religiosity and personal grudge of these groups. Some idiots believe Anni is anti Islam, and some believe Anni has no quality and some have personal issues to settle with Anni. This very dangerous and uncivilized combination of emotional conflicts is what drives this opposition crazy and act with instinct rather any civilized agenda. The biggest difficult part for Anni is ape like society that he has to deal with. These monkeys will act like brain dead zombies who have no other ambition other than to get their medical bill settled.

  17. Ah, I am reminded of an album title when I see the VPs situation play out. Let me recount the overlong ditty that describes the VP in his current state for me.

    When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
    What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
    And he'll win the whole thing 'fore he enters the ring
    There's no body to batter when your mind is your might
    So when you go solo, you hold your own hand
    And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
    And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land
    And if you fall it won't matter, cause you'll know that you're right

  18. Dr Waheed is a coward. he will soon exit and leave Maldives. he has no place in Maldives any more. he is not like the opposition hooligans to go out and shout. One more mistake he is out of the door.

  19. The Youth of Male' elected him as a MP for Male' during Maumoon's Presidency, in return he resigned from the Majlis and fled the country while we were thrown in to unfathomable hardship and torture in Maumoon run jail Dhoonidhoo.

    His excuse,
    "Endherimaage meehunaa Kamineege Meehunaa hedhi reygadu nidhey varu nuvegen dhen furaigen dhanee Mi"

  20. Interesting. I mean Waheed planning a Coup.. what is this country falling into?

  21. Dr. Wahheed is by far the best political person in the maldives,the only one who is not corrupt and the only one with a track recrod. he has nothing to prove, because he has already proven that he can get results. The rest of the governmetn has not, so if he is not getting results, its because the governmetn is standing in his way!

  22. If you want to understand what ticks Dr. Waheed, read Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. It's hilarious, it's about a story of gansters in a South American country come to arrest the President and finds instead the vic president and an Opera singer. The Vice President so badly wants to be the president but all his life he understood that he would always be a shadow.....

  23. whaheed slept with the suit that night thinking he might be called suddenly to be president. hehe

  24. "December 23 Alliance"! From what I understand people gathered in Male' on December 23 2011 to defend Islam.
    Now it appears to be a group activists, from Opposition political parties, led by Adhalath PartyLeader Imran. The importance given to this group by the Opposition is quite evident when active participation of the opposition party leaders is missing!
    NGOs in general are involved in social work, not political activity. I would like to know the NGOs in this coalition so that I do not contribute to their funds!

  25. I cannot believe the stupidity of people calling for the overthrow of the government. Fine you idiots, once you convince the MNDF or indeed Dr Waheed to take over, then what? MDP and Anni supporters roll back and accept it? the saga continues on the streets.

    More importantly it would prove to the opportunists, Gasim, Yameen, Champa that there is indeed a short- cut to the top. Then you start the never-ending story, take a look a Pakistan.

    A democracy does not mean we get everything we want whenever we want. Every single grievance has these vultures on the streets calling for the overthrow of the govt.

    All successful countries have one thing in common, govts are changed via votes only. Be it in a Parliament or by general election.

    We can never have a successful society with short sighted idiots marauding on the streets encouraged by political opportunists.

    I suppose with an average education of 6 years, one can forgive some of these poor people being used and manipulated. But what excuse do you idiots commenting here have? You obviously have access to the internet, have an adequate command of the English language, all you need is to use your fucking brains.

  26. why cant you write that the judge was "taken" by military and this is against the constitution and international standards. there has to be a limit to fabrication.

  27. Yeah the "Fili Waheed" (his official nick name) is used as a condom. But the old idiot doesn't understand. Doctor Saahab, don't underestimate Maldivians. You don't know them, as you have been living a "fili" life all your life abroad. We are more intelligent than you think. We know all the games you are playing. Anni respected you by giving good posts to Bigey and them. Almost all your in laws and family. Waheeda's husband is High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. What more advantage can you take. Besides, Waheed ah "musaara ves haqqu nuvaane". You are slow in working. You don't do any work!!!!! For God sake, stop making dissession amonsgt the people who made you something. "Ilmu huttas hilmeh neiiy". To tell you the truth you are good for nothing, Mr. Condom. We know your standard!!

  28. People who stood up for anything ISLAMIC, seems to have ebbed away and distanced when it's true face was seen!

    Also it is quiet strange that non of the leaders of political party had any decency to face VP in the so called pledge taken and announced by Umar Naseer!

    It is very apparent the last lifeline of the allied seems to be giving way!

  29. If Pres. Nasheed genuinely wishes to support judicial reform, I am with him one billion percent. This is not about the personality of Anni, Anni has rejected me also, it hurts yes, but this is not about me being loved or loathed, we have to be bigger than this!

    Stop being so petty and look at the bigger picture!

    Yameen Abdul-Gayoom would be the President of the Maldives if Anni was pushed aside, NOT Your VP Mr. Waheed! Waheed is probably as nice as you say he is, his Son writes beautiful and genuine sounding stuff, he may have got it from his Father? BUT if he thinks that the Baiah given to him could last, man!

    consider THIS!

    There are leaders in OPEC who deeply feel the Sacred Spirit of Azhabbiya Al-Ikwhan al Muslimun (Solidarity of the Brotherhood of Islam) as characterized by deep, deep, deep egalitarian Spirit. It is Sadaqah between Ikhwan, something ordered by the Qur'an many times, it is meant to benefit all Maldivians immensely. It is not a gift to Yameen, but it is a gift meant to be shared amongst all Maldivians. A Muslim is not a Muslim till he desires for himself what he desires for his Brother (Bukhari, Muslim.) The gift of cheap oil to Maldives is sacred, Yameen is meant to desire and and act on that desire that the oil and its profits benefit all!

    Yet Yameen abuses, degrades, exploits this sacred TRUST, selling the oil, and profits from it himself! He empowers himself to be extremely NASTY to others! Anyone who is genuine knows how nasty Yameen IS!

    There is this beautiful Islamic dream that a few have, that they would restore the sanctity of this Islamic Sadaqah, and recover the billions of oil profit which should then benefit YOU ALL!!!!

    But, to do this, the Judiciry has to be made independant!

    I am shocked and appalled that so called Muslims, Adhalaath, Saeed, the opposition, who are supposed to be independant would support this hideous sacriliege and abuse of this sacred trust by trying to prevent any hope of judicial reform!

    You are so called 100 percent Muslims, yet the abuse and the misuse of Islam I see makes me feel absolutely HEARTBROKEN!

    i weep!!! I weep!!!

    And people wonder why I am so confused about religion. I am surprised that more Maldivians are not as put off as this as I am, seems you guys are 100 percent Muslim!!!

    OPPOSITION! This chaos is not Anni's doing! It is Yameen's doing, and the rest who refuse to be brought to justice!

    Yameen! Make Tauba, repent, give the money back to the ppl, deal with whatever the hell it is which makes you so nasty, heartless and greedy and then, NONE of this would be an issue!

    Also, if Yameen and co. do ever make moves to return that which they stole from you, please forgive them.

  30. @Peasant;

    Control yourself brother. Love, peace and all that.

    Perhaps you misunderstand.

    The people on the streets have been validated in their protests by almost near unanimous agreement that the Nasheed government overstepped their bounds by defying the Constitution in broad daylight.

    This has led to a situation where several sources of authority are being disputed openly by the Maldivian public.

    The Constitution remains violated and that document sanctions the electoral process as well as our system of governance. It is the Nasheed government's failure to use the system to stay in power that has led to the current situation.

    A scheming opposition might benefit from the ensuing chaos yet the Nasheed government dug its own grave.

  31. @tsk tsk on Wed, 1st Feb 2012 10:48 PM

    "A scheming opposition might benefit from the ensuing chaos yet the Nasheed government dug its own grave."

    Aha, long last, I agree with you on this one. We can say they fell into one that was dug and left wide open for them! And unknowing to them, they also helped in its construction.

    There were a lot more smarter options open for them, and they've been there for a long time. However, no one was there to see and capitalise on those. There aren't many in this administration who have long range intelligence.

  32. Highly respected lawyer and former Attorney General of Nasheed's government has written a highly commendable article (regarding the issue) on Haveeru.


    “'But I don’t want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
    'Oh, you can’t help that,' said the Cat. 'We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.'
    'How do you know I’m mad?' said Alice.
    'You must be,” said the Cat. 'or you wouldn’t have come here.'”

    -Lewis Carroll in "Adventures of Alice in Wonderland'


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