President Yameen delivers presidential address amidst opposition protests

President Abdulla Yameen delivered the annual presidential address today in the face of vociferous protests from opposition MPs at the official opening of the People’s Majlis for 2015.

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Jumhooree Party (JP) MPs gathered in front of the secretariat desk and clamoured for the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed, carrying placards that read, “Free President Nasheed,” as well as posters depicting police manhandling and dragging the opposition leader into court.

Nasheed remains in police custody pending the outcome of a trial on charges of terrorism.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MPs responded to opposition MPs’ chants of “Yaagunda resign” with “Ganjabo” and “Theyobidibo,” epithets referring to the former president’s alleged encouragement of drug use.

PPM and coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) MPs held up placards that read: “Nasheed deserves to be in prison,” “Nasheed supports terrorism,” “Free Maldivians from Nasheed,” and “MDP must learn democracy,” .

“Gasim, first pay tax and then talk,” “You cant hide from the law Nasheed,” “It is time Nasheed should be put in jail,”and “Nasheed has to be tried for corruption of US$ 2 billion,” read some of the other placards.

Yameen’s second presidential address comes amidst a political crisis sparked by the arrests of former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and former President Nasheed. The opposition MDP-JP alliance organised a massive protest march calling for the pair’s release on Friday (February 27).

Meanwhile, journalists, foreign dignitaries, and state officials inside the gallery could not hear President Yameen’s address over the din. The chants from PPM and MDA MPs drowned out the opposition MPs.

Confrontations and verbal sparring between pro-government and opposition MPs occurred inside the chamber, with some PPM MPs snatching posters from MDP MPs.

Former PPM MP Ahmed Mahloof – who was carrying a placard calling for Nazim’s release – also clashed with former colleagues in the ruling party.

After concluding the address, President Yameen gave two thumbs up to PPM MPs and made a thumbs down gesture towards opposition MPs.

“Today we saw [opposition MPs] attempting to obstruct the president’s from fulfilling his responsibility under Article 84 of [the constitution],” tweeted President’s Office Spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali.

Article 84 states, “At the beginning of the first session of each year at the first sitting, the president shall address the People’s Majlis on the state of the country, and may present proposals for improving the state of the country to the People’s Majlis.”

Muaz also tweeted saying he was “ashamed” that opposition MPs were unaware of Article 84 whilst “inciting unrest in the country in the name of defending the constitution.” The MDP-JP alliance launched nightly protests last month against the current administration’s alleged breaches of the constitution.

Muaz also said President Yameen’s thumb down was “an advisory gesture” against obstructing constitutionally mandated duties.

“Political charges”

“Delivering a presidential address while holding opposition politicians in jail is alien to democracy,” Minority Leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ told journalists before entering the parliament building.

The MDP parliamentary group leader called on the government to withdraw “political charges” against the former president.

Ibu told reporters after the sitting that the opposition has delivered a message to President Yameen on behalf of the public.

Echoing the minority leader’s sentiments, JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim said the international community views the prosecution of Nasheed and Nazim as politically motivated and warned of “economic sanctions” as a consequence, which could lead to “starvation” and “unrest”.

The MP for Maamigili reiterated appeals for Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin to withdraw the charges against the pair.

A crowd of opposition supporters were meanwhile gathered behind police barricades on Sosun Magu, a short distance from the parliament building.

According to a live blog on the police website, police confiscated megaphones after advising protesters not to use any loudspeakers as a school session was in progress at the nearby Majeedhiyya School.

Police pushed back protesters around 10:45am and set up barricades near the MDP office on Sosun Magu.

Related to this story

JP Leader Gasim meets Sri Lankan President Sirisena

10,000 protest in Malé, call for President Yameen’s resignation

Nazim accused of conspiring with Villa group to harm state officials

Nasheed denies ordering Judge Abdulla arrest, granted three days to answer charges


8 thoughts on “President Yameen delivers presidential address amidst opposition protests”

  1. Maldives has a hereditary presidency and this is a unique phenomenon in the world, and a contradiction in terms.

    Gayoom Didi and his brother know nothing about corruption. Corruption is a game that other people play.

    Thirty years of Gayoom style democracy has been extended to another thirty years. This is a brand of democracy that can exist in no other country.

    Turn-coat politicians and members of parliament are a prominent feature of Maldivian democracy.

    We are a model of an autocratic state.Islam is a useful tool to our rulers.Let us call ourselves an Islamic democracy.

  2. @ Michael Fahmy

    Everyone is a 'turn coat politician including you.

    What you should be addressing is the treat of MONEY POLITICS. If they can JP and MDP will also buy the entire parliament. It so happens that PPM has bought more this time.

    So please stop being the hypocrite you are and talk about the real issue. Its all about money, money.

  3. Yameen simply said” f**k of, I have done my constitutional obligation get lost” he was so proud of having the balls to finish the difficult task in a hostile environment. The question is why he was so proudly showed his confidence that he has upper hand still being very unpopular among majority of ordinary people. He knows he has all tools to remain in the power and do whatever he wants. No one can remove him without spilling blood and surly people of Maldives don’t want to go down that far for petty politics. So probably Anni and all political victims will have to bear the cost of ignorant people who have helped to empower arrogant person like Yameen who came with a slogan like Islam and nation

  4. @observer on Mon, 2nd Mar 2015 4:00 PM


    Lets cut the crap and face it like it is. Religion and Politics ARE the same, just different generations. The so-called Books ARE the Constitutions.

    You can dream your dreams, but portray them as facts.

    And yes, its about Money Politics, and definitely not enacting whats written in Constitution for the good of the people.

    Face the facts!

  5. @Michael Fahmy and Adheebiyya etc...

    A Platoon of Angels of EU and Sharma of Commonwealth witnessed every step of Presidential voting and declared that there were no irregularities but FAIR. Now, why do question legality of this regime or the Maldivian way of doing things? Do you want to fake the majority vote and some how install actor/ puppet Ann i-the-vagrant? The country and its economy will once again let go to the dogs.

  6. @Habibib.
    MDP thugs will always question legality of everything happens in this country which are not in favor of Nasheed.

    They believe that Maldives belong to Nasheed and Nasheed does not believe in defat and he should also be made above the law.

    MDP was the people who had screwed the politics in Maldives .

    Nasheed was the man who first started MP trading in Maldives and that was the beginning of seller and buyer market for Mps in Maldives.

    Nasheed bought former MP Ali waheed and Alhan fahmy after paying millions and that was the beginning of new era in trading of MP.

    Since Nasheed got only 25% vote in his presidential election in 2008, he could not win parliament majority in 2009 and got only 25% in the parliament election that followed in 2009.

    But Yameen got 29% in presidential election and then in 2014, he got 65% in the parliament election.

    I guess when people talk about 25% people vote, MDP should rethink and revisit those results and understand to digest that real 25% belong to Nasheed.

    in 2013, Nasheed got 45% in the first round, its not because wanted Nasheed to win. Its because of then " DRAMA" that he played and huge amount of "sympathy vote" had gone to him.

    Nasheed played that Drama since his popularity was going down drastically due to his arrogance and continuous breach of the constitution.

  7. Buggers doesn't even know the spelling of "TOLERATE". I can then imagine the condition of these Yameeen people.!!!!

  8. TOLLERATED? Is this a new word in the English language that I am unaware of?
    Instead of murdering the English language, why don't you poorly educated, low IQ people use Dhivehi for your placards? At least the tuna fisherman watching the TV broadcasts will understand what the protests are all about.
    Is the People's Majlis always as chaotic as this during a presidential address?
    Reminds me of Jeddah International Airport during the Haj season after several PIA and Saudia flights have landed. Chaos reigns supreme.


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