President Waheed delivers farewell addess

The farewell address of President Dr Mohamed Waheed was aired across Maldivian television today, as the nation prepares to choose his successor in tomorrow’s run-off.

In a pre-recorded speech, Waheed discussed his rise to power, his record in office, and the future of the country.

Waheed is currently in Singapore, having left the country yesterday evening with no definitive date set for his return despite drawing MVR 525,000 (US$34,000) from the state treasury for an official visit to Malaysia and Hong Kong.

After deciding to remain in office beyond the expiration of his presidential term on Monday, Waheed promised his resignation would follow tomorrow’s polls had determined his successor.

“As the elected vice president of this country, my constitutional duty was to take over the wheel of this country in that turbulent moment. To direct the nation’s ship to a safe harbor amid the fear of strong winds, strong currents, and rain,” he said.

“To make use of a torn social structure and to dig out the Maldivian economy from a deep pit. To put out the fires at the state’s most sacred institutions and straighten the nation’s ranks. To straighten the nation and establish chain of command.”

Discussing his decision to remain in office this week, Waheed argued that  it would have been difficult from a legal perspective for him to have handed the power of the state over to the speaker of the majlis – as a motion in the chamber and the constitution had called for.

“Hence, even though I do not want it, as head of state, I continued in the position because maintaining the rule of law ascertaining that the security forces ranks are in order is my responsibility. But I repeat, continuing the government on a court order is not my wish.”

Taking office

Regarding the circumstance of his rise to the presidency following months of unrest and the sudden resignation of his predecessor President Mohamed Nasheed, Waheed used his farewell speech to defend his actions.

He argued that himself and Nasheed – contesting in tomorrow’s run-off against Abdulla Yameen, half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – had taken office together with the aim to move beyond the Gayoom era.

“However, due to the manner in which the vice president’s role was stated in the constitution, and the manner in which President Nasheed conducted his government, I did not have much responsibility as vice president. I did not have a role in decision making.”

“I was not happy with some of the decisions made by the government in times of rivalry and turmoil. No matter how difficult, I believe decisions must be taken within the law. My conscience believes decisions must be resolved through discussion and consent.”

“Hence, I cannot agree with things that have been done outside the law in the spirit of jealousy and revenge. I was not informed of how the government wanted to proceed as President Nasheed and I had not spoken after January 31.”

The outgoing president went on to describe a number of unconstitutional acts allegedly carried out towards the end of Nasheed’s tenure, including the detention of Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed. Waheed also alleged that the government ordered the military to use rubber bullets against mutinying police on February 7.

“It is not justice when the head of state resigned following the escalation after a matter that could have been solved through talks or giving in went unresolved and then accused the police and military of unlawful acts. It is not fair.”

“When the man who took hold of the wheel to carry out his constitutional duties makes out his ministers and others who came out to serve to be traitors, there is no way falsehood can become truth. And there is no way that truth can be changed.”

Track record

Waheed defended his government’s record, pointing to the return of civil servants salaries reduced under Nasheed, the extension of health insurance to expatriate Maldivians, and the ‘rescue’ of the recently publicly listed Maldives Airport Company Ltd from Indian investors.

“MVR 2 billion was paid for the previous government’s unpaid bills. 6 new resorts were opened, and 871 beds were added. A total of 2034 students received loans in 2012 and 2013 under the student loan scheme and were given the opportunity to gain higher education,” he argued

He also defended his record in improving the country’s international foreign relations, focusing on his rejection of foreign influences.

“The previous government had changed the long-standing non-aligned, independent and Islamic character of foreign policy. Hence, in global currents, our ability to raise our own voice was limited and we were in a situation where we were facing pressure to change our constitution and do things our legal framework does not allow.”

“Foreigners must not be invited to influence the Maldivian state’s powers. This must not be something that has any political weight,” he continued.

Looking to the future, Waheed called for an inclusiveness government to succeed his.

“The division and anger of the past must be set aside and we must work together united to ensure a prosperous future for our children. Our country is too small to marginalize certain groups and proceed. Our population is too small and we are too interconnected.”

“At the same time, we should keep in mind that our actions today are an example for our children and hence we must lead by example. We must show them that differences and disputes cannot be resolved through force and that compromise is not a weakness.”

Read full speech


9 thoughts on “President Waheed delivers farewell addess”

  1. “The previous government had changed the long-standing non-aligned, independent and Islamic character of foreign policy."

    (1) Not so fast. You cannot just lay the blame on the "previous government" when you had nearly two years to do things your way. Why didn't you go back to that "non-aligned, independent and Islamic character"? Who stopped you?

    The truth is Waheed was a lame duck. He didn't make any decisions, couldn't make up his mind on anything, didn't even know or didn't want to know what was going around him. I don't think he remembers exactly what happened over the last two years whilst he was holed up in that President's Office.

    "Foreigners must not be invited to influence the Maldivian state’s powers."

    (2) Then why didn't you tell the foreigners? Why did you smile, embrace them and smooth talk them into hearing something completely different? Why did you tell your local audience a different story to the one you told the visitors?

    We've seen McKinnon and the American Ambassador umpteen times at your table over the last two years. Why didn't you tell them to piss off?

  2. Waheed's speech was full of hatred for Nasheed. He even distorted the real facts. Nasheed never asked the army to shoot at the police or anyone. His speech is being replayed on all anti channels even after 6pm today. Ppm is allowed to anti campaign. Shame on broadcasting commission. You are not doing your duty. You should be in office to deal with situations promptly.

  3. We are ashamed of this lame duck puppet of Maumoon and Qasim who had a golden opportunity to put the country back to a beautiful, just and corrupt free one had he had a spine. The Judiciery was fatally flawed that never brought justice and he knew it. country's wealth was robbed from top to bottom by everybody in his administration, religious extremism was encouraged and given prominence to device the nation and allowed Islam to be used as a political tool. No development was evident and only engaged in wasting the public funds by satisfying political partners and there cronies. In two words he was a total failure. A puppet of every Yamin, Qasim, Maumoon , Mohamed and Ahamed. A sad period for Maldivians during which so many Maldivians suffered due to his impotency in controlling the brutes set free by the chief savage Police Commissioner and Defence Minister. all in all a brutal regime with ruthless crimes allowed to committed like the arson attack on Raajje tv. A period of unislamic behavior not experienced even during the 30 years rule of Maumoon. May you suffer the pains inflicted on innocent Maldivians throughout your life. We curse you

  4. Waheed would have been an asset to MDP but Waheed was sidelined without a portifolio. Rumor has the waheed wanted foreign ministry but shaheed (as usual) put wool on Anni face. Thus Shirheed has contributed a lot in destroying Anni regime too. Shirheed is quite skilled regime destruction

    If nasheed had managed his team better and did not bring Shirheed on board, Waheed wd most likely to be with MDP and the Coup would never have happened

  5. This is yet another trick by his master. One of the puppets delivering a speech blaming everything bad in Maldives on the first democratically elected government. This is pure political propaganda!!! Shame shame shame!!!
    We are not so stupid and that's why he ran away after such a coward speech.

  6. It is true that Nasheed is the man who had drag thso country into the shit .

    Nasheed is a dictator and he thought that everyone will like his ass.

    But he was wrong


Comments are closed.