The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has accused the Commonwealth Secretariat of being involved in an alleged cover-up of key details surrounding the controversial transfer of power on February 7, 2012.
In a statement released yesterday (January 23), the MDP claimed that parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) had uncovered evidence of a “systematic government cover-up designed to subdue testimonies from key witnesses to the coup d’etat”.
The statement accused the Commonwealth Secretariat of having “close involvement” with the government’s Committee of National Inquiry (CoNI) that reported on the power transfer on February 7, 2012 – making it implicit in any alleged cover-up.
Among the MDP’s allegations, the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Maldives Sir Donald McKinnon was accused of “giving in” to government demands to appoint certain individuals to oversee the report.
“The CoNI, established by Dr Waheed shortly after he came to power, was originally made-up of three people – all well-known sympathisers of former President Gayoom – and chaired by President Gayoom’s former minister of defence,” the statement read.
“After an international outcry, the government was forced to agree to reform the CoNI. 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.”
The MDP added that the final report of the CoNI had maintained that the transfer of power had been constitutional and rejected allegations of a “coup d’etat” despite what it claimed was “widespread evidence to the contrary.”
Minivan News is awaiting a response from the Commonwealth Secretariat at time of press.
The statement was released the same week in which senior military and police intelligence figures gave evidence to the EOC alleging that the transfer of power on February 7 “had all the hallmarks of a coup d’etat”, and claimed that the final CoNI report had not reflected their input.
The 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.
President’s Office Spokesperson Ahmed ‘Topy’ Thaufeeq told Minivan News today 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 added.
Asked whether the MDP’s allegations that the suspension of senior military staff who gave evidence to the EOC was an attempt by the government to “subdue testimonies from key witnesses”, Thaufeeq argued that the government “was not in a position to talk about a military matter”.