Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s representative on the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI), Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, has today expressed deep concern over the draft report compiled by investigation’s co-chair, retired Singaporean Judge G P Selvam.
In a brief statement provided to media today outside Muleeaage, Saeed said that the draft report produced by Selvam “somewhat refutes or denies what we Maldivians saw and experienced” on February 7. Former President Nasheed resigned during the day under what he later claimed was “duress” after elements of police and the army mutinied at Republic Square.
“I accepted membership of the Commission of National Inquiry with the weight of responsibility of carrying the hopes of you, the Maldivian people. The Maldivian people saw the first democratic government formed under the constitution adopted in 2008 as a good reform – a golden opportunity to revise the constitution and establish a democratic system and rule of the people. [The people] saw it as an opportunity to move away from the culture of arresting and banishing previous rulers and establishing a culture of changing governments through the vote and not through coup d’etats,” Saeed said today.
“February 7, 2012 was a day that shocked Maldivians – a day when the Maldivian government was changed in a sudden confusion. Now, however, the report that Judge Selvam has drafted and brought is a draft that somewhat refutes or denies what we Maldivians saw and experienced – or a draft that somewhat confuses things, the way it is now.
“While this is happening, for me to stay here, at Muleeage, would I believe be a betrayal of my country and the Maldivian people. I see the draft report as having been written without considering the witness testimony of many, many people to CoNI as well as the many scenes we saw.”
Saeed added that he would continue to work to “include my concerns” in the final report. He was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press regarding his comments.
Following Saeed’s statement, the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) convened an emergency meeting of the party’s National Council.
A resolution proposed by former minister Mohamed Shihab and seconded by MP Mariya Ahmed Didi expressing concern in line with Saeed’s views on the draft report was adopted with unanimous consent.
Speaking to Minivan News, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said that the information in the current “domestic draft” report was not acceptable.
“What [Saeed] is saying is that they have omitted several details that they found from the investigations, so he is asking to make the report accurate in reflecting this,” he explained.
However, he observed there was room for the CNI’s findings to still find consensus before its public release on Thursday (August 30).
“The CNI report should be something that all its members have to agree upon so without MDP’s word, the report would not be authentic,” Ghafoor said.
“There is a draft out there that appears to conclude that there was no police mutiny [on February 7], this is just not acceptable given what the public saw,” he claimed.
President’s Office spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza and Media secretary Masood Imad were not responding to calls by Minivan News at the time of press.
The first three-member CNI was appointed by President Mohamed Waheed, following a police and military mutiny and Nasheed’s resignation on February 7. Both Nasheed and the MDP allege that his resignation was made under “duress” and was therefore a “coup d’état”.
Facing pressure from the Commonwealth and civil society NGOs, the government eventually agreed to reform the commission to include a retired Singaporean judge and a representative for Nasheed.
Nasheed’s representative, Saeed, who was formerly both Principal of ‘Ahmadiyya School’ and Deputy Principal of the British College of Sri Lanka was finally accepted after the government of President Waheed rejected almost 11 names Nasheed proposed to the commission.
The original members of the CNI subsequently released a ‘timeline’ into events that took place from January 16 to February 7.
The MDP accused the commission of trying to prejudice the work of the new commission, and then released its own version of events in response – the ‘Ameen- Aslam’ report based on interviews with the security services. The government described the publication of this report as a “terrorist act”.