President dismisses calls for resignation

President Abdulla Yameen says he will not resign or negotiate with the opposition despite the threat of mass antigovernment protests on May Day.

The Maldivians against brutality coalition says it will bring out 25,000 people on to the streets of the capital on Friday, and has called on president Yameen to initiate talks immediately and free imprisoned former president Mohamed Nasheed and ex defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

But the president at a press conference today reiterated his belief that there was no room for negotiations in court verdicts and said ordinary Maldivians are not facing any difficulties in their day to day life.

“There is no reason for me to resign. The opposition shouting out what ever they like is no reason for a president to resign,” he said.

“As I govern, I am the first to take the initiative to resolve issues arising from my mistakes. They have not said anything substantial as of yet.”

The criminal court last month sentenced Nasheed to 13 years in jail on terrorism and Nazim to 11 years on weapons smuggling. Foreign governments and international rights groups have condemned the trials for lack of due process.

Tens of thousands have signed a petition urging president Yameen to free Nasheed. The opposition leader’s lawyers say the Clemency Act authorizes the president to shorten an inmate’s sentence to any period depending on the circumstances surrounding the prisoner’s conviction.

But Yameen today dismissed calls for Nasheed’s freedom, stating: “MDP says president Yameen can release president Nasheed even tomorrow. President Yameen will not release president Nasheed tomorrow. He is serving a sentence. The sentence can only be reduced according to due process.”

The coalition – made up of MDP, religious conservative Adhaalath Party, members of the Jumhooree Party and independent MPs – says it will end the government’s tyranny on May Day. Opposition politicians have been traveling across the country in recent weeks urging supporters to converge on the capital on May 1. Meanwhile, daily small scale protests are continuing.

But president Yameen says he faces no pressure stating: “I would like to say, May 1 will once again mark a day where the rule of law is upheld in the Maldives.”

“May 1 is coming. I will wait and watch. Those who violate the laws must know they will be punished. We have been advising [the opposition] through the relevant institutions. We will not allow [the opposition] to bring out young people and put them behind bars,” he said.

He accused the opposition of inciting violence and undermining the rule of law by using religion as a shield, and advised the opposition to cease its efforts immediately.

Last week, tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb challenged the opposition to a confrontation on May Day.

The government has said Nasheed and Nazim must appeal their sentences, but the opposition says it has no faith in the judiciary saying the president controls the judiciary.


3 thoughts on “President dismisses calls for resignation”

  1. President Yaameen is not dumb not to know what is going on in the system and the government, judiciary and other independent institutions!
    It is he only wants to believe that there is nothing wrong, however much there is!
    Translations spoken of words by necessity and need should not be mistranslated or mixed to arrive at what is needed!
    To my belief, the opposition is in no way demanding the President to resign rightaway!
    What they are calling to serve the people justly!
    To come to common grounds and resolve problems through dialogue!
    To discuss issues and rectify them!
    To get rid of corrupt people within his system and government!
    To give a fair trail even to his enemy!
    What they are saying is if he is incapable to do this; then resign and handover reins to those who are capable of dealing with reality and willing to do as according to constitution and its motto!
    Nothing more; nothing less!
    It is fair enough to believe that the President has got all this wrong somewhere!

  2. Maldivian, you speak of a fair trial.. All of these political trials are a big fake show, the opposite of a fair trial. Not sure why you've said that, but it shows you're either biased or naive. I try to be objective myself. I do admit I'm against all Maldivian political parties, but much more against PPM than against MDP. PPM is the party against the people, the party who wants to suck up the power and distribute all the money and power among a small band of loyal PPM followers. Although there are a few good people in PPM, as a party they give a shit about anything else. MDP also has way too many fake or corrupt people and not enough people who know what needs to be done, but at least the intentions of them as a party is to do what is best for all Maldivians.

  3. This terrible man and his government will destroy Maldivian tourism and society. He is bringing to an end what his brother has started. The Gayooms will be remembered worst in Maldivian history


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