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Page added on May 15, 2012

Government agrees to CMAG demands “with conditions”

Government agrees to CMAG demands “with conditions” thumbnail

The government of the Maldives has agreed to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s (CMAG) demand to revise the composition of a commission set up to investigate the controversial transfer of power on February 7, but has set conditions for the appointment of a new member to represent ousted President Mohamed Nasheed on the commission.

Attorney General Azima Shukoor said Nasheed’s nominee must not have served in a political position in the past two years or taken a public stand on the transfer of power. Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have challenged the conditions and called them “nonsensical.”

The CMAG in April warned of “stronger measures” against the Maldives if new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan failed to revise the composition and mandate of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) by May 16.

The Commonwealth had already suspended the Maldives from the CMAG and placed the Maldives on its formal agenda following Nasheed’s claim that he was ousted in a coup d’état on February 7, carried out by mutinous elements of the police and military.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday with only a day remaining before the CMAG deadline, Shukoor said the CNI will continue to retain the three members appointed by President Waheed, but will now include a Commonwealth-chosen judge as co-chair of the commission and a member representing Nasheed. The government has already accepted a retired Singaporean judge as co-chair, but has rejected nine candidates fielded by Nasheed and given him a two week deadline to fill the post.

Regarding CMAG’s call to revise the CNI’s mandate, Shukoor said a “misunderstanding” had taken place and that the mandate would be “clarified and refined.”

“Nonsensical”

At a press conference immediately following the government’s briefing, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor hailed the government’s decision to revise the CNI composition as “historic”, and said the commission “is now independent.”

However, MDP lawyer and former Youth Minister Hassan Latheef expressed concern over the government’s “nonsensical” conditions for Nasheed’s member. In addition to prohibiting any candidate who had served in a political position and taken a public stand over the transfer of power, the government has also stipulated that the nominee must have “good behavior and integrity.”

Latheef said the latter conditions were “subjective”, and added that if the government required a candidate who had not yet taken a public stand, “then they are saying Dr Waheed will appoint President Nasheed’s representative.”

If Nasheed was not allowed to appoint his own candidate, the opportunity “lacks any sincerity”, Latheef said.

The nine candidates fielded by Nasheed include MP and former MDP chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi, former Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, former Youth Minister Hassan Latheef, former Education Minister Shifa Mohamed, former President’s Member on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) Aishath Velezinee, Nasheed’s cousin Hudha Ahmed, former Airports Company board member Ibrahim Saleem, and former President’s Office political appointee Fareesha Abdulla.

Ghafoor said the MDP had initially asked for three MDP members on the commission for equal representation, but acceded to a foreign co-chair and a member to represent Nasheed because the party “wants the case to proceed and we want a way out of this.”

According to Shukoor, the government rejected Nasheed’s nominees because they included members of his cabinet, his relatives and MDP activists. “The Commonwealth’s concern is that the composition be independent and impartial. Hence, the government believes the inquiry commission cannot proceed with the [nominated] people,” she told reporters.

The MDP initially challenged the independence of the inquiry on the basis that Chair Ismail Shafeeu was previously Defence Minister under former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s government, at a time when systematic torture was being conducted on political prisoners.

Home Minister Mohamed Jameel said he hoped the CMAG would accept the government’s proposal, and said: “We do not believe CMAG’s demand was to appease a certain person. The government and the majority of the public cannot believe these nominees can be impartial.”

The government has given Nasheed a two-week deadline to field an acceptable candidate. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the government will proceed by appointing a lawyer to the seat reserved for Nasheed’s nominee, Shukoor also said.

Terms of reference, elections

Although  CMAG had called for a revision of the CNI mandate, Shukoor said the terms of reference would not be changed, but had been refined.

MDP’s Latheef provided details of the changes to the mandate, claiming the CNI would prioritise an inquiry into whether Nasheed had resigned under duress and the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power.

The CNI’s current mandate stipulates an investigation into the events starting from the detention of Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed on January 14 until the transfer of power on February 7. The government maintains Nasheed voluntarily resigned following public furor over the judge’s detention.

Furthermore, instead of relying solely on witness statements, the commission would also accept photos, videos, audios, personal bank statements and phone recordings as evidence, Latheef also said.

The CMAG had also called on the Maldives to hold early elections within 2012, but Shukoor reiterated the government’s position that fresh elections could only be held if the inquiry found the transfer of power to be unconstitutional and added that early polls would require a constitutional amendment.

Formal Agenda

In Tuesday’s press briefing, the government also protested against CMAG’s decision to place Maldives on its formal agenda, and said the move contravened the Commonwealth’s mandate and procedures.

Newly-appointed Human Rights and Gender Minister Dhiyana Saeed said the enhanced mandate of the CMAG approved in Perth in October 2011 only allowed the organisation to place a country on its agenda if there was: “(1) unilateral abrogation of a democratic constitution or serious threats to constitutional rule; (2) the suspension or prevention of the lawful functioning of parliament or other key democratic institutions; (3) the postponement of national elections without constitutional or other reasonable justification; and (4) the systematic denial of political space, such as through detention of political leaders or restriction of freedom of association, assembly or expression.”

Saeed claimed that as long as Nasheed’s allegations of coup d’état remained unproven, the CMAG could not activate its mandate to place Maldives on its agenda.

“Given that no allegations have yet been proven and when the Maldivian government is cooperating with an investigation into the allegations, CMAG has placed the Maldives on its formal agenda outside of the CMAG mandate and process,” she told reporters.

Despite the government’s opposition to being placed on the CMAG’s formal agenda, it remained ready to engage with the Commonwealth in finding a political resolution, Saeed said.

The Commonwealth must follow “due process” by establishing whether an unconstitutional transfer of power had taken place before placing Maldives on its agenda, Shukoor added.

“It is our right to be treated according to those principles, no matter how small or vulnerable we are or how serious the allegation against us are,” she said.

Political parties backing President Dr Waheed have called for preemptively withdrawing from the Commonwealth. MPs of the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) in April submitted a bill to Majlis to disengage from the Commonwealth.

Waheed is currently in India for an official visit, and has criticized the Commonwealth engagement with the Maldives.

“We used to believe that the Commonwealth was the champion of the smaller nations that extended assistance in every way possible. But to the contrary we witnessed the grouping inclined towards Nasheed, head towards punishing us,” local media reports Waheed as saying.

Despite voicing his disappointment with the 54 nation group, Waheed said that he would not back the proposals to withdraw from the Commonwealth and expected the bill to be dismissed as soon as the Majlis returned from its current recess.

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28 Comments on "Government agrees to CMAG demands “with conditions”"

  1. Rice on Tue, 15th May 2012 10:24 PM 

    Caption: DRP merges with MDP to form DR MD coalition.

  2. Beyond the Grave on Tue, 15th May 2012 11:07 PM 

    The incompetent AG questioning the Commonwealth’s decision? You will have to bow down to commonwaealth and other international organisations.Shukoor’s can go to hell! Diyana Saeed would have been a better AG(atleast she has proper qualifications)

  3. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Tue, 15th May 2012 11:30 PM 

    So, not only are we pleading favours from the Hindustani abomination – we are now acquescing to the CMAG and their strumpet Queen. This is a travesty. A stain upon our honor and the honor of the God-fearing the world over. I am thoroughly disgusted.

    The wombs of our harlots should be flogged for having produced such effeminate, weak-willed offspring – and the offspring themselves should be rounded up and garrotted on the spot! Alhamdulillaah.

  4. Lubna Ali on Tue, 15th May 2012 11:50 PM 

    will they agree to have this inquiry in public

  5. Mohm Shiraz - uninhabited on Tue, 15th May 2012 11:57 PM 

    - 3 months to discuss NIC yes or no
    - 1 months more to discuss who
    - 2 months to watch footage which was live on our TV screens
    - 2 months to write
    - 1 month to translate from HauEnglish into Dhivehi (for tampering Sun and Haveeru)
    - Report will be approved : 3 votes in favour, 2 against = 90 % (according mvcoup mathematics from Supermoons time).
    - 2 months to disagree about EC
    - 1 day later : fed up with delayed justice = denied justice, #mvprotest in countra-coup. Coup leaders get life sentence from fast track court of the real 90%
    - 2 days later – Dr Didi president PPMJPQRPADASHEIKS party. Alhan VP. Voted out and fund now NewPPMDRPJPADA-WEWANTREWARD party
    - 1 day more : raising sea level and strong tsunami cause Dhivehistan to disappear – no survivors

  6. bryam on Wed, 16th May 2012 2:05 AM 

    @dhivehi hangman: my thoughts exactly. How dare the righteous, law abiding europeans choose to rule over us humble maldeviants

  7. tsk tsk on Wed, 16th May 2012 2:28 AM 

    Azima is more than competent.

    No one in the Maldives should celebrate having to “bow down” to foreign influence.

    However an impartial investigation is in everyone’s best interests. Nasheed and his supporters should have maintained that stand early on instead of trying to come back to power through pressure, threats and intimidation.

    Let us all commit to bind ourselves to a decision reached by the Commission and find our way forward for the sake of the nation. There are going to be many Nasheeds and Waheeds that we will see in our lifetime if we manage to hold on to our newly introduced democratic system of rule. However there is only going to be one Maldives, one people dependent on the development of one economy.

  8. Michael Fahmy on Wed, 16th May 2012 2:30 AM 

    Maldivian government must learn to live with internationational organisations and norms.

    The relationship between the Maldivian government and its people must become more transparent and democratic.

    Mohamed Nasheed was an inexperienced leader who came to power very narrowly. He had only a small window of opportunity.

    MDP was too much focused on the Gayoom family and the 30 year-rule by Gayoom that preceded Nasheed coming to power.

    Nasheed failed to see his opportunity in a broader perspective than he did. He could not visualise his country’s geography and history accurately.

    In a sense, he himself probably became rather self-centred and dictatorial.

    All this does not justify the way he was overthrown, his own vice-president Waheed been used as a rallying point by his detractors and enemies.

    Nasheed’s resignation speech, seen on video, throws suspicion on the motives for his resignation. He was forced to resign.

    Ibrahim Nasir did not attend Gayoom’s presidential inauguration. Gayoom did not attend Nasheed’s inauguration as president.

    Compare this with the way Sarkozy handed over the French presidency to his opponent Hollande. The transfer took place in a cordial and respectful manner.

    France is a democracy. Maldives is an autocracy.

    Maldives is also a school for dictators. France is not.

  9. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Wed, 16th May 2012 3:44 AM 

    Just as Mr Two Faced Waheed was promising the Indians about “moderate Islam”, his Islamic Minister is trying to get the military and police personnel to keep long beards.

    And guess what the justification for this is? According to the “moderate” minister and his compatriots, Islam forbids men from shaving their beards. You can read it in Dhivehi here (http://www.sun.mv/18338). On his next trip to India, perhaps Waheed will ask for assistance in keeping those smelly beards under control!

    You think I’m making this up? I wish I was. I can’t believe there are such idiots amongst us.

  10. Poem on Wed, 16th May 2012 5:16 AM 

    Not to worry, CMAG is a animal with no teeth.

  11. Mariyam on Wed, 16th May 2012 7:01 AM 

    “good behavior and integrity.”? Well then the current members in the CNI need to be changed too, as anyone with any integrity would not have agreed to be part of such a farce in the first place. Why are the given conditions relevant to only Nasheed’s representative? It should apply to all the members of the CNI.

  12. addu on Wed, 16th May 2012 7:49 AM 

    I suggest Nasheed fields Gasim from his side because Gasim was a Finance Minister of Gayyoom…since Ismail Shafeeu was the Defense Minister of Gayoom and now he is the Chair of the CNI

    All the two figures shall be accepted by the people because they both have worked to uphold the Constitution but not to uphold Gayyoom and his cronies

  13. Mohamed on Wed, 16th May 2012 9:22 AM 

    Unbelievable that President Nasheed should be given these conditions.

    Siyaasee kula? Kula yellow? Name one person who President Nasheed can trust who would not have worked in his administration in one capacity or other?

    President Nasheed should stipulate that no one who worked in the government during Gayoom’s time should be on the CNI.

    Look at these guys Yasir and Fawaz? Yasir and his siblings benefitted from the patronage of the GREATONE Gayoom and Fawas received financial support from Gasim for his P D studies in New Zealand.

    I understand their personal circumstances led to their bondage to Gayoom and Gasim but if they have a shred of decency and integrity they would not have accepted this appointment to the Investigation Committee. They are not impartial.

    These conditions make the current administration look even more foolish and scared.

  14. Aishath on Wed, 16th May 2012 9:32 AM 

    @Mohm Shiraz

    Don’t write bull…Every one knows you are frustrated to the core. I am also frustrated.

    Maldives had survived for thousands of years, and it is up to GOD (not you) to preserve Maldives. Wake up!!!!

  15. Q2 on Wed, 16th May 2012 10:05 AM 

    Dhivehi Hanguraama are the disfigured Islamists produced by the Gayooms, Burumaas and Champa’s of this world. The state have been molested.

  16. Chris on Wed, 16th May 2012 12:03 PM 

    @Dhivehi Hanguraama

    So brother, not only are you now mocking the Hindustani institution – your sarcasm reflects directly on the CMAG and our beloved Queen.

    I am thoroughly disgusted with your fanatical approach. A disgusting stain on all free thinking people the world over. Understandably you and your kind can only fantasize what it may be like to be privileged to live in the free world as we do.

    The wombs of your species should be flogged for having produced such weak willed offspring as yourself hiding behind a digital screen in a remote corner of the globe.
    Alhamdulillaah!

  17. poodle on Wed, 16th May 2012 12:42 PM 

    i hate this ‘one nation one people rot’ that tsk tsk and his ilk vomit at every opportunity. what’s wrong with being different. maldivians aren’t a homogenised bunch sitting on a shelf like pasteurised cartons of milk.

  18. Aisha on Wed, 16th May 2012 2:06 PM 

    Perhaps we should ignore Dhivehi Hanguraama.

    Have you not noticed, I have, that he/she always comes out with incoherant rhetoric claiming to defend Islam when news items such as the one we are commenting on comes out.

    Its a calculated action, designed to deflect our thoughts from what has been presented to us.Clearly highly trained, possibly someone from the intelligence.

    I suggest we do not comment on anything this person writes and focus on the topic on hand.

    These are serious times, for us, for our children, for our nation.

    He/she is not listening to any of your comments. Its just a big game.

    Don’t ge sucked in.

  19. Mohamed on Wed, 16th May 2012 2:44 PM 

    Looks like Nasheed has to appoint a toddler to this Commission, and let Azima or Kutti Nasheed do the translations!

  20. mode on Wed, 16th May 2012 2:46 PM 

    I do not think Nasheed to be given even a chance to appoint one of his thugs in this commission. But rather need to find a no aligned member who can be there to see the both side.

    For me it was clear that it was not a cue but it had happened due to irresponsibility from Dictator by himself.

    On 14th April , Singaporean had written a long report on the circumstances around and why Nasheed had to give his resignation .

    Common wealth is too biased and they need to stop mesmerizing with the internal affairs but if they genuinely want to do something good for the country, need to come out from the shell and then see both side.

    I was wondering where was the common wealth when Dictator was openly challenging our constitution ? Why did CMAG never ever had any concern on those time ? Why it is now ? What those people who were gathering prior 7th Feb. were not Maldivians ?

    Common , CMAG need to understand and they need to respect not only MDP but rest of the people as well.

    All this actions proves that CMAG have some other hidden agendas and that is why they are backing the Dictator Anni.

    We are not stupid and we also know hat is happening around us and around the globe and it is not only Anni will know things.

  21. ayya on Wed, 16th May 2012 3:54 PM 

    If President Nasheed cannot appoint anyone who has served under his government as a political appointee and soone who has made a public stand against the coup, we should also ask that no one who worked in Gayooms government as a political appointee , and that includes Shafeeu and Mujthaba ,should be on the committee. The personal history of Yasir and Fawas also should be checked if they or their families received any financial support from those who opposed Nasheed and demanded his resignation.

  22. addu on Wed, 16th May 2012 4:04 PM 

    let me correct Dictator Anni as Dictator Gayyoom before my comment begin….Commonwealth very clearly knows that President Nasheed must take several critical measures to reform the Maldives Judiciary. CW also knows that it was Nasheed and MDP that worked for a DEMOCRACY in the Maldives. We have not heard what a Singapoean has told only. We have also heard what a world renowned Professor and the ICJ commented on our Judiciary….that was what Nsheed tried to do as it was his duty not to watch and see whatever happens to the National Judiciary…or leaving the country for the Dictator and his cronies sitting in the JSC and the Parliament

  23. Rationale on Wed, 16th May 2012 5:15 PM 

    Multiple choice …
    A- “Government agrees to CMAG demands “with conditions””
    B- “CMAG agrees to Government demands “with conditions””
    C- “CMAG agrees to MDP demands “with conditions””
    D- “MDP agrees to CMAG demands “with conditions””
    correct answer “D”

  24. bryam on Wed, 16th May 2012 6:17 PM 

    @dhivehi hangman: sorry to burst your bubble, folks, but it is obvious that, by his statements, dhivehi hanguraama is mocking the positions proffered by maldivvian islamic society. read his comments closely and you will confirm his true position on these matters.

  25. Justice on Wed, 16th May 2012 6:43 PM 

    Waheed agrees to the public demands with conditions… and resigns or else remain as the greatest living traitor of the Maldives to be cursed by people, history and world soon after being dumped by the coup leaders with the loss of the upcoming Presidential elections- Allah knows best. very likely to happen

  26. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Thu, 17th May 2012 7:26 AM 

    Rest assured Aisha, that I am not from the intelligence or most of the commentators on this website would have been garrotted by now.

    Also, “he” is the proper pronoun. I am no harlot woman. No base comedian (as I have been alleged to be by the MalDeviant who calls himself Bryam). Nor am I someone concerned by “Chris” or his strumpet Queen, save for their profuce meddling in our internal affairs.

    Through vestigial institutions of their imperial past, I might add.

    I am, and always have been, an intellectual in the service of Allah (swt). I will fight for his cause and garrott his enemies upon sight, on the spot. Now cease from these efforts to besmirsh my reputation. Alhamdulillaah!

  27. Aisha on Fri, 18th May 2012 10:18 AM 

    @Dhivehi Hanguraama

    Like I said, no comment.

  28. Hani on Fri, 18th May 2012 10:23 AM 

    @Chris

    Good One.


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