Speaker advises state institutions that Waheed no longer in power

Additional reporting by Zaheena Rasheed

Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid has sent a letter to President Dr Mohamed Waheed informing him that his term as president expired at midnight, and informing him that he was no longer in command of the country.

Waheed yesterday declared that he would remain in power until the run-off vote scheduled for November 16, before boarding a speedboat off Male with his wife as violent protests and a police crackdown began to shake the capital.

Parliament last week passed a resolution calling on the speaker to run an interim government until the election after the expiry of Waheed’s term. However the Supreme Court issued a verdict on the day of the re-vote, November 9, upholding its earlier edict that Waheed remain in power.

The speaker’s letter called Waheed’s attention to Article 107 of the constitution which limits the presidential term to five years, and Article 262 which says Article 107 can only be amended if three quarters of the Majlis approves of the change and if a majority of the public votes for it in a public referendum.

As there is no other way to extend presidential term, the speaker informed Waheed: “The presidential term which began on 11 November 2008 ended on 10 November 2013 and the term cannot be extended unless the procedures laid out in Article 262 are followed.”

Speaker Shahid also noted that the constitution mandated all three branches of the state, staff employed by the state, and all citizens to fully obey and act within the confines of the constitution.

Therefore, any act committed in violation of the constitution was illegal as per Article 268 of the constitution, the letter highlighted.

The Speaker also sent a similar letter to Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz, Chief of Defence Forces Major General Ahmed Shiyam, Elections Commission President Fuwad Thowfeek, Human Rights Commission of the Maldives President Mariyam Azra, Civil Service Commission President Dr Mohamed Latheef, Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz, Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim, and Anti corruption Commission President Hassan Luthfy.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Maldives Sir Donald McKinnon has meanwhile expressed “dismay” at Waheed’s decision to remain in office “against the letter and spirit of the constitution.”

McKinnon had earlier called for an interim government, invoking Article 124 which concerns the succession of the speaker should the posts of president and vice president become vacant. Vice President Waheed Deen had already resigned earlier that morning.

“In the absence of a political agreement, the people must look to their Constitution for guidance and have confidence in their Constitution. Article 124 makes clear the spirit and intent of the Constitution for situations such as the one the country is currently facing,” McKinnon stated.

Waheed, who received just 5.13 percent in the annulled first round vote on September 7, and who had previously declared he had no intention of remaining in power “even a day after November 11”, said: “Many Maldivians, international organisations and countries are pressuring me to resign and temporarily hand over the government to the People’s Majlis Speaker. On the other hand, even more citizens want me to stay on, to continue with administration of the country, to carry out my duty.”

Sir McKinnon said today that Waheed’s decision was “regrettably, not unexpected despite best efforts of the Commonwealth and the United Nations to encourage the President to stay within the constitution.

“I understand people’s anguish, but calm must prevail in the interests of all Maldivians. I naturally hope that the second round of the election will go ahead on 16th November, as pledged by the President in his address to the nation.”


12 thoughts on “Speaker advises state institutions that Waheed no longer in power”

  1. We can do calm, but are you suggesting that we allow the military to establish itself before we wake up and do something? Isn't that more your style Sir McKinnon?

    Shahid. The constitution gives you this unique chance to take on the leadership and give us the election we need. There will be enough support in the Police force and MNDF for this.Please try to make it work.

  2. Waheed knows he is not respecting the Constitution and the SC does not have the power to extend his term.
    He also knows nobody wants him to stay as president (except perhaps his 5% support)
    Very sad situation for all.

  3. This development is key to the future of the Maldives. It will test the resolve of the SC and the police and army to support Gayoom and his puppets.

    Let me remind you that Gayoom is in Singapore. Waheed has left Male for safety in a resort. The SC's last judgement regarding elections 16th were UNSIGNED.

    The Army and police must now back and obey the Speaker and he must be sworn in as President.

    If the Speaker is ignored (or worse) the constitution is FINISHED!

  4. What a joke Shahid.

    Are you now president and Hamid Abdul Gaafoar the VP?

    Elections would be in 5 days time. Why can't you remain silent.

  5. Good crisis should not go to waste.

    PPM seems busy campaigning while MDP is stuck in protesting over crisis. There is a method to this madness for sure.

  6. Now we will see Yamin raising campaign funds from Sun Travel Shiyam, Sunland, Jabir & Champa. He is just buying time and it is important Abdullah Shahid takesover.

  7. @Not stupid?.. How sure are you that elections will happen in 5 days time? I doubt it will happen as Yamin and his SC judges will come up with more excuses of not holding this elections. Yamin will carry on until to the point when he is sure of a win for PPM

  8. Sir Mackinon, you are right. Tell these MDP guys they just have to wait until our Royal is ready to take over. We shall make sure you guys are well rewarded

  9. I should say this its not important a certain person take over, given the state of affairs the constitution dictates that for the sake of the republic and democratic principles an elected official of high standing, that is the speaker of the paliament take over, untill a new elected president can run the executive branch of the government, thus in line with the democratic republic principles.

    Maldives is established as a parliamentary republic (the American Jeffersonian Democracy style, with state legislature and executive seperate and clearly defined). What we are seeing is a corrupt inept Judiciary from the old Maumoon days, kept in place by a loophole in a legislature passed. Secondly there is the matter of the watchdog not fully excercising their power to keep the Judiciary honest. It is a series of events and failiurs that has culminated at this point in time that has led to this.

    The point is democratic principles and institutions should be upheld and be given due importance at this point for democracy to survive.

  10. I am glad that Afrasheem is not here to mouth into the situation. at least one mouth down.

  11. Mr. Speaker, get your balls in your hand and shake it well. Then you can sworn as the President of Keneree regime.


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