Fall of Maldives president not a 'coup'

2012-08-30 14:00
Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed. (AP, File)

Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed. (AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Colombo - A Commonwealth-backed investigation in the Maldives on Thursday dismissed claims that a coup forced Mohamed Nasheed from the presidency in February and declared it was a legitimate transfer of power.

The panel's report concluded that Nasheed, who alleged he was ousted by a military and police coup, had resigned voluntarily - a judgment that was promptly rejected by his party.

The Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), consisting of four nationals named by political parties and a Singaporean judge nominated by the Commonwealth, found the change of president was "legal and constitutional".

"The resignation of President Nasheed was voluntary and of his own free will," it said in a 62-page report. "It was not caused by any illegal coercion or intimidation."

Nasheed has previously told his supporters that it would be legitimate to challenge the current government through "street action" if the report rejected his claims that he was overthrown in a coup after weeks of public protests.

Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said it rejected the CoNI's findings as a "total outrage" and would keep up demonstrations in the capital Male where activists have often clashed with police.

Resignation from panel

"The report does not reflect the reality on the ground," MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said by telephone. "Our executive body is meeting to decide a future course of action."

Streets of the congested capital island were quiet on Thursday after a night of rallies by the MDP, a familiar routine since Nasheed left office.

Nasheed's nominee on the CoNI resigned late on Wednesday saying that it had ignored vital evidence, including photographs and videos. He did not sign the final draft.

President Mohamed Waheed, who took over from Nasheed and was formerly his deputy, said before the release of the report that he would back its verdict.

The Maldives - a string of islands set in the Indian ocean - relies on luxury resorts that attract wealthy tourists from around the world to its palm-fringed beaches, pristine seas and renowned diving.

This year's civil unrest has not directly affected the resorts but has damaged the nation's image as a tropical paradise.

No early elections

The CoNI report also noted acts of "police brutality" over the three days in early February when Nasheed left office, and it called for further investigations.

"The unforeseen transfer of power owed much to the challenges for governance of a young democracy which is deeply divided," it added, highlighting problems with the rule of law, the functioning of parliament and a politicised media.

Nasheed, who became the atoll nation's first democratically elected leader in 2008, has refused to recognise Waheed's new government.

The Commonwealth initiated the probe and appointed Singaporean judge GP Selvam to the five-member panel to give it legitimacy.

Waheed has rejected international calls for early elections, saying it was not practical to hold a fresh vote before July 2013 in the Islamic state of 330 000 Sunni Muslims.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mohamed nasheed  |  mohamed waheed  |  maldives  |  coup

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks won't be tired, assures Louw
Mumm wary of depleted Welsh
Lack of experience costs England dear
Jean rejoins Springbok camp
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.