Political leaders take to twitter to mark February 7th

Political leaders have taken to social media to mark three years since the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed in 2012.

While former President and leader of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Maumoon Abdul Gayoom wished all “patriotic Maldivians” a “Happy 7th February”, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Nasheed posted the lyrics of a melancholic Dhivehi ballad.

Nasheed’s message contained the lyrics to a song which describes the “many tears shed that day” – originally written about the death of a couple from Galolhu Penzeemaage, killed when their Dhoni capsized near Malé in the 1980s.

He has made no other official comments regarding the day of his departure from office.

Nasheed resigned on February 7, 2012, after mutinying security forces joined anti-government protesters, demonstrating against the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed – for which Nasheed still faces criminal charges.

The protests’ leaders included key opposition figures from PPM, Jumhooree Party (JP), Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, and the religious conservative Adhaalath Party.

Current Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer – who stood in the front lines of opposition protests against Nasheed’s presidency – said yesterday that the date was a “proud day for Maldives, Islam and the constitution”, thanking everyone who stood against the country’s fourth president.

Naseer this weekend announced his exit from JP after the party joined the MDP in an agreement to defending the Constitution – receiving public praise from Gayoom for his decision.

Meanwhile, other protagonists in the events surrounding Nasheed’s resignation struck a more conciliatory tone, with Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla saying “the nation cannot move forwards without forgiving and building friendships”.

Sheikh Imran described the events of February 7 and 8, 2012 as “dangerous and sad”.

After supporting Gasim in the first round of the 2013 presidential elections and President Abdulla Yameen in the run-off, Adhaalath is considered an unofficial coalition partner in the government, with the party assigned the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Nasheed has recently used the events leading up to and following his departure from office to suggest that the current government has lost legitimacy following the JP’s withdrawal from the governing coalition.

He has cited the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) report, which concluded that 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”.

“[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 Commonwealth-assisted report.

Even without the support of the JP’s 13 MPs, the ruling PPM currently enjoys a clear majority in the People’s Majlis, controlling 49 seats alongside the its ally, the Maldivian Development Alliance.

Nasheed stated last week that, with the CoNI report arguing that the transfer of power on February 7 was made in accordance with the law: “Yameen, we are also going to change your government in that very path deemed legal”.

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Gasim defiant as opposition sign agreement to defend Constitution


We will change the government according CoNI report, says Nasheed

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.

Constitutional amendments

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”.

Related to this story

No coup, no duress, no mutiny: CNI report

MDP and JP reach agreement on defence of Constitution

Nasheed urges President Yameen to convene all-party talks


Summary: Testimony of former police intelligence chief to Government Oversight Committee

In January 2013, parliament’s Government Oversight Committee heard testimony from six of the highest-ranking officers of the police and military for its review of the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CoNI’s) report into the transfer of presidential power on February 7, 2012. Minutes of the closed-door sessions (Dhivehi) along with audio recordings were made public on January 16, 2013.

Following is a translated summary of the testimony from former head of police intelligence Chief Superintendent Mohamed Hameed to the oversight committee on January 9, 2013. Hameed was fired in August 2012 by the police disciplinary board over allegations of leaking confidential information. He has since sued the police for unlawful termination.

Mohamed ‘MC’ Hameed joined the Maldives Police Service (MPS) on April 8, 1995. He was appointed head of the police intelligence department on January 17, 2010 following completion of a state-sponsored Masters degree in policing, intelligence and counterterrorism from the University of Sydney, Australia.

“I attended CoNI on April 15, 2012 and in addition I also attended the reconstituted CoNI. I believe it is because they did not consider what I said there to have much weight that important points from my two statements to CoNI were not highlighted in the report. The reason I am saying this is because what happened on February 6, 7 – I am not a legal expert but I have worked in the police profession for a very long time – I believe what happened with the police those two days should not have been seen from those belonging to a professional police service.”

Hameed believed that elements of the police mutinied on February 6 and 7. The CoNI report however did not highlight police misconduct, alleged brutality and disobedience that he “emphasised” at the commission.

When the new administration took office in November 2008, MPS did not have “a professional intelligence setup.” The previous intelligence department, known as Omega Sector, was referred among police as the “black room”. It was headed by current Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz.

Police intelligence was focused on the political opposition to the then-government and did not provide much assistance or cooperation for routine policing. Hameed’s “main purpose” as the new head of police intelligence in 2010 was “setting up an intelligence mechanism needed for policing or law enforcement.”

At CoNI, Hameed was asked why police intelligence had not learned of a plot to overthrow the government if the events of February 6 and 7 were orchestrated and planned in advance.

“I said very clearly, if intelligence operated in the way it did in the police service before 2008, the incidents of February 6 and 7 would not have happened. It would not have been allowed [to happen].”

Gathering information from the political arena was “not a priority at all” for the department. However, the intelligence department did monitor political activities, especially protests or demonstrations that affect public peace.

“Considering the information I was receiving in my post, I do not believe what occurred on those two days happened spontaneously.”

Police received intelligence that plans were made to carry out anti-government activities with police involvement to disrupt a mass gathering planned by the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for February 17, 2012 as part of its campaign for judicial reform.

“We had learned that discussions took place. This information would be recorded in the Maldives Police Service intelligence department intelligence reports and intelligence logs.”

On the night of February 6, when clashes erupted between opposition protesters and government supporters at the artificial beach, the intelligence department was monitoring the situation. Communications from the mutinying police from the Specialist Operations (SO) department at Republic Square were being intercepted.

An off-duty platoon from the SO was active at the artificial beach without orders.

Following the military’s detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed on January 16, 2012, anti-government graffiti was discovered in the toilets of the SO accommodation block at Iskandharu Koshi. The graffiti called for Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh, Deputy Commissioner Ismail Atheef and President Mohamed Nasheed to be killed.

“I believe that police as a whole was not ready for democratic governance. There were serious problems in the institution.”

The judge’s arrest sparked demonstrations by the opposition coalition for 22 consecutive nights. During that period, police would gather at the Republic Square at 7:00pm every night and follow the protests until 2:30am or 3am.

“The sole focus of police was on these demonstrations. During the whole day, the police service was almost asleep.”

On January 23, 2012, the intelligence department prepared an assessment report of the situation with a recommendation for the Commissioner of Police to seek the release of Judge Abdulla from military detention and find “another settlement” of the issue.

At the demonstrations outside the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) building, opposition leaders were publicly claiming that police and army officers would join their protest.

On January 17, 2012, ten senior police officers above the rank of chief inspector met with the Commissioner of Police and informed him that they “did not accept” having to control the protests against the judge’s arrest. The ten senior officers were in charge of police operations.

“One of them indirectly proposed that the commissioner resign that very day.”

In the coming days, police intelligence learned that some of the senior officers had separate meetings with the current Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz, State Minister for Home Affairs Mohamed Fayaz ‘FA’ and Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim.

The ten senior officers were also noticeably absent from the police headquarters during the operations to control the opposition protests.

On January 18, 2012, President Mohamed Nasheed met with police officers of commissioned rank at the police headquarters theatre hall and attempted to explain the reasons for the judge’s arrest. A few days later, an audio clip of President Nasheed’s talk was leaked and broadcast on opposition-aligned DhiTV and Villa TV.

A police officer of a junior rank was meanwhile caught relaying information of the operation to opposition politicians leading the demonstrations. Riot police officers were also seen to be reluctant in taking action against unruly demonstrators.

A few nights before February 6, opposition protesters marched to the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) building, located near the ruling party’s Haruge (meeting hall). In response, a group of MDP activists led by MDP MPs made their way to the Supreme Court building and MMA area.

In contrast to their attitude towards opposition demonstrators, SO officers deployed at the MMA area forcibly broke up the MDP protest as soon as it reached the police lines.

Police intelligence learned that a SO officer called Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Mahloof later that night and bragged of having beaten up MDP supporters. In the intercepted call, MP Mahloof asked the officer why they did not break the leg of MDP MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik at the protest.

Based on such intelligence information, the assessment report prepared on January 23 warned that the likelihood of “police and army officers coming out against the government” was high.

In the early hours of February 7, the special assessment unit of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) responsible for intelligence regarding domestic security relayed information that PPM council member ‘Marz’ Ahmed Saleem was coordinating efforts to send speedboats to Dhoonidhoo and Feydhoo Finolhu to bring more police officers to join the mutinying police at the Republic Square.

Police intelligence also learned that some army officers inside military headquarters told the mutinying police around 4:00am that the soldiers would join the mutiny if they held on for four more hours. The intercepted calls between army and police officers were provided by MNDF intelligence.

At 10:30am on February 7, mutinying police assaulted Hameed and other senior officers inside the conference room on the 5th floor of the police headquarters and dragged them out “by the cuff”.

Hameed made his way to the office of the Police Commissioner on the 4th floor. At 11:00am, Chief Superintendent Abdulla Fairoosh came into the office, sat down and informed the commissioner that a team was going into the military headquarters to give President Nasheed an ultimatum. Fairoosh asked the commissioner what he intended to do.

“I took that indirectly [to mean] ‘I am taking over, so the commissioner of police should step aside or resign.’”

The commissioner then went to the conference room and made his parting remarks. All commissioned officers in Male’ were present, some in uniform and others in plainclothes. After the commissioner left, a vote was taken among the senior officers to appoint Fairoosh interim commissioner. Two assistant commissioners were present.

After Fairoosh took charge, Chief Superintendent Ahmed Saudhee then told Hameed that he was no longer head of the intelligence department. Hameed was to be replaced by Chief Inspector Abdul Mannan Yoosuf, who had been studying Business Administration in the UK and was in Male’ at the time on holiday.

Following the appointment of Abdulla Riyaz as commissioner on the night of February 8, 2012, Hameed was made a member of the executive team and appointed head of the service development directorate.

Earlier in the day, confronted by thousands of MDP supporters in a march across Male’, Hameed saw that the senior officers were “in shock” and appeared not to have command and control. Individual officers at the scene acted without orders.

As vice chair of the promotion board, Hameed also noted that 1,112 police officers were promoted on March 31, 2012 while only 600 forms were submitted under the normal promotion procedure. Commissioner of Police Riyaz had instructed heads of directorates to submit a list of officers in their departments for promotion.

Under promotion rules that were supposed to have been amended by then, the commissioner is authorised to “deviate from the normal promotion routine” and promote officers who have shown “special” qualities or exceptional performance.

The new lists were hastily approved during a promotion board meeting after midnight on March 31 while the promotion ceremony was scheduled for 10:00am the next morning. The board meeting was chaired first by Commissioner Riyaz and then Deputy Commissioner Hussain Waheed. The latter was receiving phone calls as late as 3:00am to add new names to the list of officers to be promoted.

Hameed’s objection to promoting officers suspected of brutality and breach of ethics on February 6, 7 and 8 was ignored. SO officers involved in the events were given single and double promotions.

“What we saw was that officers with a disciplinary record from the floor to the ceiling were given promotion by the executive board.”

Hameed further noted that failure to preserve CCTV footage from February 7 cast doubt on the “integrity of the current [police] leadership.” The footage was automatically wiped out on March 7, 2012.


Summary: Testimony of Brigadier General Nilam to Government Oversight Committee

Following is a summary of the testimony (Dhivehi) of Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) to parliament’s Government Oversight Committee on January 9, 2013.

Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam was head of military intelligence until late 2011. At the time of the transfer of power, General Nilam was commander of the marine corp. In the wake of his testimony to the Government Oversight Committee, General Nilam was suspended and relieved of his duties by Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim on January 18, 2013.

As his first intimation of a plot to overthrow the government through the security services, Nilam took note of an opposition demonstration on January 24, 2010, during which Umar Naseer led protesters to the MNDF headquarters and rattled the gates.

“My field officers [in the intelligence department] said they were seeing signs of something abnormal about to happen. But we could not know what it was, right?”

Nilam ordered the gates to be shut before the protesters made their way to the Republic Square or the “green zone” where gatherings are prohibited.

“I see now that there is a connection between the incidents that night and February 6. This is what I feel.”

In November 2010, a senior officer serving under the Vice Chief of Defence Forces Farhath Shaheer shared information of an alleged plot to assassinate President Mohamed Nasheed during a live-fire exercise on November 11, 2010. Based on the forewarning, President Nasheed did not attend the Republic Day function. The case was sent to police for further investigation.

In late 2011, then-Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaan removed Nilam from his post as head of military intelligence. Within three months, he was appointed to two posts before being made commander of the marine corp.

Nilam learned that Tholhath made the decision on his own without consulting the commander-in-chief. Nilam saw that President Nasheed trusted the defence minister.

In November 2011, Nilam sent a six or seven page letter to President Nasheed expressing concern with Tholhath’s actions. The defence minister was interested in “very quickly purchasing expensive instruments.” Tholhath also made a number of changes to the military top brass, shuffling senior officers, including Commander of Special Forces Colonel Giyas.

A month after Nilam was removed as head of intelligence, his former deputy, Colonel Abdulla Zuhuree, was also transferred.

Prior to the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, General Nilam participated in a meeting on January 15, 2012 with the Supreme Court bench, senior police officers and military officers to discuss national security threats posed by the judiciary.

In a meeting with senior military officers a day before, Tholhath spoke about taking the judge under military custody. Nilam opined that any person could be detained if he was a threat to national security. He however advised against moving too quickly and suggested planning and coordination with other institutions.

But the minister wanted it done immediately and asserted that he would take responsibility “even after 40 years.” Police had officially requested military assistance at the time in accordance with the law.

On the night of February 6, 2012, Nilam was unaware that the military was brought to red alert, the highest security status. He found out later from a timeline of events. Contrary to normal procedure, the duty head did not inform him nor was a message sent.

Nilam was having coffee with Chief of Defence Forces Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel when he saw Specialist Operations (SO) police on television running towards the artificial beach. The generals then made their way to the operation room. Both were in plainclothes. Nilam did not have any operational command at the time.

Shortly afterwards, SO officers returned to the Republic Square and began their protest or strike. Nilam decided against going to the barracks at Kalhuthukkala Koshi for his uniform.

“I felt staying inside would be better than going because it was unclear how this was unfolding. So I stayed as I was. It kept getting dragged on and on. And as I recall the then-President came [to the military headquarters] some time around dawn.”

Fearful of the potential threat to domestic security, Nilam remained inside the operation room and returned to the room despite being sent out six or seven times by Tholhath.

Nilam stayed close to President Nasheed, who was asking the operation commanders to clear the Republic Square of mutinying police. Nilam warned of dangerous consequences if the situation dragged on and worsened. He later learned that the military ranks were not functioning and some soldiers wanted to join the mutiny.

Nilam thought that a violent confrontation between police and the military might have been the desired outcome of the then-opposition. After the break of dawn, President Nasheed went out and addressed the mutinying police but they remained defiant.

More police officers kept joining the protest at Republic Square as false rumours began to circulate. About 45 soldiers from Kalhuthukkala Koshi came to the Republic Square. Nilam learned later that military police opened the gates to let the soldiers out.

Military officers also joined the police officers and opposition activists in taking over state broadcaster MNBC.

The president, defence minister and chief of defence forces were issuing orders because “the [military] lines weren’t working.”

“I was really saddened. This was not something I ever saw inside the military. There has been insubordination. There are former officers here [among MPs on the committee]. There is insubordination. But things have never happened like this in such an operation.”

Nilam saw a president in a “very helpless state”, which was “a sad moment.”

“We are entrusted with the duty and responsibility of protecting the country’s independence and sovereignty. It is truly disturbing to see something like that from [the military].”

The situation inside the barracks was chaotic. Soldiers were filming on their phones or cameras although it was strictly prohibited.

Nilam also learned that the military did not have “any control of [presidential residence] Muleeage after 7:00am or 7:30am in the morning.”

Police and ex-servicemen entered Muleeage after 7:15am on February 7. Nilam heard later that some officers of the Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the President and Vice-President had joined the mutiny.

He also learned later that First Lady Madam Laila Ali was taken out of the presidential residence in a car whose number plates had been changed to avoid detection.

Nilam was surprised and saddened when the CoNI report did not include any recommendations for the MNDF. He believed it was important to thoroughly investigate the role of the military in the events of the day.

“That is because if something like this happens and it is not investigated, the consequences will be very dangerous. We are in that state now.”

Following the change of government, Defence Minister Nazim asked Nilam if he believed the transfer of power amounted to a coup or a revolution.

Nilam replied, “Looking at it academically, this has all the characteristics of a coup. Some signs are what would happen before while other signs are what occurs during the event. Then we have what happens afterward. I have even looked into this and studied this along principles that academicians would consider. So I told [Nazim] that this has all the characteristics. He didn’t say anything else.”

Under Maldivian law, a “coup d’etat” could not be carried out without the military’s involvement as the offence is specified and prohibited in the Defence Forces Act of 2008.

Inside the military headquarters, Nilam overheard President Nasheed refuse assistance from two foreign nations before he decided to resign.

“[The President] said this is an internal matter. He answered both calls in much the same way.”

Considering the chaotic situation at the Republic Square, there was possibility of bloodshed “if it dragged on” and the president’s life was in danger.

Nilam was present when current Defence Minister Nazim relayed the ultimatum to Tholhath for the president’s “unconditional” resignation.

Nilam saw military officers bang the president’s car with their boots while he was escorted to the President’s Office from the military headquarters. He also noted that current Chief of Defence Forces General Ahmed Shiyam took over as acting chief before President Nasheed officially resigned.

“There are a lot of questions here. I believe that this should be investigated thoroughly and looked into. These are very serious matters.”


Commonwealth Special Envoy visits following MDP allegations of “coup cover-up”

The Commonwealth Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the Maldives, Sir Don McKinnon, is presently in the Maldives as part of a visit that will conclude tomorrow (January 27).

“A key objective of Sir Donald’s visit will be to discuss efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and processes in Maldives, and how the Commonwealth can further assist in this regard,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma in a statement.

McKinnon’s visit follows the publication last year of a report by the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) into the controversial transfer of power on February 7 2012.  The report concluded that there was no mutiny by police or the military, and that former President Mohamed Nasheed’s resignation was not made under duress.

The CoNI was subsequently disbanded by President Waheed and the website containing the report was taken offline. The report is downloadable here.

“The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) noted the CNI report’s conclusions about the transfer of power. Going beyond that, CMAG highlighted the need to investigate acts of police brutality, and welcomed the government’s commitment to reform and to strengthen the independence and quality of key institutions. These remain core concerns and priorities for the Commonwealth,” Sharma stated.

“The Commonwealth continues to work towards consolidating multi-party democracy in Maldives. The year 2013 will be a critical one for Maldives, given the forthcoming presidential elections,” the Secretary-General said.

“It is essential for democracy in Maldives, and for lasting national reconciliation, that this year’s elections be both credible and inclusive. The Commonwealth expects there to be political space and a level-playing field for all candidates, parties and their leaders.”

McKinnon’s visit follows a recent parliamentary inquiry into the CNI report, during which senior military and police intelligence figures gave evidence to the Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) alleging that the transfer of power on February 7 “had all the hallmarks of a coup d’etat”.  The same sources also claimed that the final CNI report had not reflected their input.

Those figures included Brigadier General Ibrahim Didi, Commander of Male’ area on February 7, Police Head of Intelligence Chief Superintendent Mohamed Hameed, Chief of Defense Force Major General Moosa Jaleel, Head of Military Intelligence Brigadier General Ahmed Nilaam, Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Jinah and Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh. All six have since resigned or been suspended from duty.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) subsequently accused the Commonwealth Secretariat of complicity in a “systematic government cover-up designed to subdue testimonies from key witnesses to the coup d’etat”.

“The CNI, established by [President] Waheed shortly after he came to power, was originally made-up of three people – all well-known sympathisers of former President Gayoom – and chaired by President Gayoom’s former Minister of Defence,” observed the MDP in a statement.

“After an international outcry, the government was forced to agree to reform the CNI. The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s special envoy to the Maldives, Sir Donald McKinnon, was subsequently sent to the Maldives to mediate an agreement, but eventually gave-in to government demands that President Gayoom’s former Defence Minister must remain as Chair, and that the other two members must remain in-place.

“Unsurprisingly, the CNI’s final report claimed that there was absolutely no wrong-doing on the part of the opposition or Gayoom loyalists in the police and military. This was despite widespread evidence to the contrary,” the statement added.

“The testimonies of all the main witnesses summoned to the Committee demonstrate a remarkable degree of consensus about what happened in early 2012, and a common understanding of the legality of the change in government. All witnesses stated, unequivocally, that the change in government bore all the hallmarks of a coup d’etat.

“All named the same individuals as being central to the coup – with foremost among these the current Commissioner of Police and the current Minister of Defense. All made clear that following a meeting between opposition leaders and the-then Vice President, Mohamed Waheed, in the weeks preceded February 7, those planning the coup swore their loyalty to him and thereafter he was fully implicated in the plot.

“All saw widespread evidence of collusion between elements of the police and army loyal to former President Gayoom and the main leaders of the coup. All had seen evidence that the plot to remove President Nasheed included the possibility that he would be assassinated if he did not leave willingly. And all claimed that the evidence and testimony they presented to the CoNI was either ignored or misrepresented,” the party claimed.

MDP Spokesperson MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said the respective accounts from the CNI and the UN concerning the transfer of power on February 7 were “not reflective of the experiences of Maldivians who witnessed and lived through the event both out on the streets and through their TV screens.”

“The letters sent to the government [concerning the transfer of power] represented a real shoddy job by these organisations. It is clear they did not do their homework.  It is embarrassing,” Ghafoor said.

President’s Office Spokesperson Ahmed ‘Topy’ Thaufeeq meanwhile told Minivan News this week that the CoNI report was a “transparent” process undertaken by “qualified Maldivian people”.

“Because of this, the CoNI report is accepted by the government. We have a judiciary, if anyone has a problem with this affair they can go to the courts themselves,” he claimed.