Former President Mohamed Nasheed has said the opposition will change the government in the manner which was authenticated by Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) report.
Speaking at a street rally in Malé held last night (January 3) by Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and its new ally the Jumhooree Party (JP), Nasheed said all political parties had agreed that the findings of the report would be accepted even before it had begun.
“This very report stated that the transfer of power on February 7 was made in accordance with the laws – President Yameen, we are also going to change your government in that very path deemed legal,” he said.
After the Commonwealth-backed inquiry ended the MDP’s hopes of overturning the new administration, Nasheed described the final report as a setting a legal precedent for the overthrow of an elected government through police or mob action.
The Maldives was left “in a very awkward, and in many ways, very comical” situation, said the former president at the time of the report’s release in August 2012, “where toppling the government by brute force is taken to be a reasonable course of action. All you have to do find is a narrative for that course of action.”
The report into the circumstances surrounding Nasheed’s controversial resignation found that the change of government was “legal and constitutional”, and the events of February 6-7 “were, in large measure, reactions to the actions of President Nasheed”.
“The resignation of President Nasheed was voluntary and of his own free will. It was not caused by any illegal coercion or intimidation,” the report claimed.
“[I]t is evident that President Nasheed lost the support of the coalition supporting the MDP which had brought him to power and it is an irrefutable fact that MDP never enjoyed a clear majority in the Parliament,” read the document, pointing to factors that led to his departure from office.
Nasheed claimed last night that as stated in the CoNI report, President Abdulla Yameen’s government had also lost legitimacy after JP leader Gasim Ibrahim – who backed Yameen in the 2013 presidential run-off elections – pulled out of the coalition.
“There is no support for President Yameen’s presidency. The support he received even with President Maumoon is 25 percent,” Nasheed stated.
He argued that the spirit of the Maldivian Constitution is aligned with the presidential system of governance, which demands that one individual gains over 50 percent of the voting population’s support.
This support failed to materialise in either the 2013 presidential elections, or in his own 2008 victory, noted Nasheed.
“The result is that the new government in its infancy loses legitimacy after coalition partners pull out”.
Nasheed also stated that the Maldivian people do not wish to create a dictatorial ruler with a super majority, but rather wish “to find a way in which the Maldives is ruled under the principle of dialogue and discussion”.
He subsequently claimed that constitutional changes needed to be brought in order to facilitate a system of democracy in which the government can function without a super majority, through discussions and dialogue between political figures and parties.
The MDP and the JP held a third round of discussions at Maafannu Kunooz on Sunday (January 1) night, agreeing to officially sign a document concerning their joint efforts to defend the Constitution.
The document, scheduled to be signed at a special ceremony on Thursday (January 5), will be followed by a joint rally that evening at the Carnival area in Malé.
Although the Adhaalath Party has decided against joining the alliance, the Maldives Trade Union has joined the opposition, claiming that the government’s persistent violations of the constitution have “eroded crucial checks and balances and accountability mechanisms”.
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