CNI’s new co-chair revealed to be retired Singaporean judge G.P. Selvam

The President’s Office has revealed the name of the retired Singaporean judge who will join the reformed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI), which has today been reconstituted by presidential decree.

The name of the judge who will co-chair the commission with Ismail Shafeeu was revealed to be Govinda Pannir Selvam.

GP Selvam is a former Supreme Court Judge who served in the Singapore Supreme Court between 1994 and 2001.

According to the Singapore Court of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA), where Selvam has served as a panel member, the judge graduated from the University of Singapore in 1968 and will celebrate his 76th birthday in July. Selvam arrived in Male’ this morning.

Local media today revealed that the judge had arrived, without mentioning his name, whilst the President’s Office did not reveal the judge’s identity until this afternoon, saying that there was to be an official ceremony this evening.

The name of the judge was finally revealed on the President’s Office website at around 6:30pm.

President’s Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza said that the commission was now “definitely” ready to begin work on Thursday and would comprise the previous members of the commission – Ismail Shafeeu, Dr Ibrahim Yasir, and Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef – as well as the Nasheed nominee Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed and, finally, G.P. Selvam.

Abbas also stated that there were to be two resource persons added to the commission to support its activities, including a retired Indian judge. Abbas said that anybody who wished could come and observe the commission’s work, just as with the previous manifestation of the CNI.

The President’s Office also stated that representatives from the United Nations and the Commonwealth will advise the CNI’s work.

Former President Nasheed yesterday alleged that the government was intentionally delaying the revision of the CNI and deceiving the international community.

The initial deadline for the reform was mid-May. After agreements were reached with the Commonwealth, a deadline of June 1 was given to approve former President Mohamed Nasheed’s nomination to the commission.

The MDP and the government, however, were unable to agree on  suitable candidate until June 4 after the MDP’s first 11 suggestions.

Abbas was today reported in local media as saying that Nasheed’s comments were merely intended to deflect criticism from the MDP’s internal elections, which Abbas claimed had “no spirit of democracy” after Nasheed won the MDP’s presidential nomination unopposed.

MDP spokesman Imthiyaz Fahmy today also questioned the reasons for the delay in signing the resolution agreed with the Commonwealth.

“The government is deliberately delaying the process of forming the new inquiry commission as much as they can,” he said.

The reforms have been instigated largely at the behest of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which is scheduled to hold a teleconference this Wednesday.