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Maldives United Opposition

Maldives: It’s Back To Square One!

in Opinion by
Even as reactions continue to pour in over the weekend on Maldives’ decision to exit the Commonwealth, alleging ‘unfair and unjust treatment’, the leadership of President Abdulla Yameen has moved on with the next political move, this one nearer home. The Yameen faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) got a civil court order removing former President and half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as party head and replacing the latter’s team with another one of the President’s choice.
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On the opposition’s front, yet another former President, Mohammed ‘Anni’ Nasheed, too shed all semblances of fighting for democracy in the Maldives. From his overseas home in the UK, where he has been granted political asylum after jumping prison-leave for spinal surgery, Nasheed’s legal team has announced their decision to move UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, on a near-single point, for him to be able to contest the presidential polls, now due in 2018.

The Nasheed decision followed the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group’s (CMAG) inability to initiate any ‘action’ of the kind that his camp had envisaged against the Yameen government through its three meetings in the current year. The CMAG’s next meeting is fixed for March 2017 when it had threatened to take Maldives on its agenda to deny the nation participation in Commonwealth Council meetings and the rest.
EU Parliament 1

Nasheed’s decision to move the UNHRC also came only days before the Yameen government declared that it was quitting the Commonwealth. If earlier the Nasheed camp might have indicated that the Commonwealth was a toothless tiger, if at all, the Yameen decision has indicated that all CMAG initiatives of whatever kind have become infructuous with retrospective effect.

In a way, Nasheed’s team seemed to have foreseen the possibilities before moving the UNHRC, though it’s unclear if they had any specific information that Yameen would act faster on the Commonwealth front than anticipated – that’s ahead of the March session. On other related spheres, too, the government has acted quick and fast, dropping all links to the Commonwealth. Maldivian missions overseas have now become Embassies in the place of High Commissions, a term linked to the membership of the Commonwealth.
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With all this, Yameen seems to have reduced his ‘development’ agenda into a single-point scheme to be able to contest – and win – a second term, the highest under the existing 2008 constitution. Nasheed too has reduced all talks of democracy and ‘inclusive elections’ to include his name alone – or, also – in the ballot for 2018 polls. With their current moves thus, they have shed the fig-leaf of fighting for a cause, whatever it be, and have reduced it all into a fight for personal supremacy, which is what it had been from day one.

It’s anybody’s guess if the UNHRC could move any faster than the Commonwealth on Nasheed’s initiative, and provide for ‘inclusive’ elections of the kind that he and his followers within the larger Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) wants. Old Maldives hands would recall how Nasheed in his own way had ‘hijacked’ the MDP and with that the larger democracy plank when the Gayoom presidency was seemingly unending and autocratic.
Nearer home, thus, it’s equally unclear if there are other presidential aspirants in the MDP, who may want to contest the party primaries ahead of the 2018 polls, or would they unanimously adopt his name, as they did – or, were forced to do – in 2013. If Nasheed were allowed to contest the next presidential polls, whatever the ways and reasons, would his camp revive the earlier posturing that his first term remained incomplete after his resignation/coup in February 2012, is another politico-constitutional question that the party too may need to address, early on.
Even as the government was preparing to announce Maldives’ exit from the Commonwealth, the Yameen-majority PPM parliamentary group initiated motions of political rapprochement between the governmental and organisational wings. Or, so did it seem at the time. They called for brothers Yameen and Gayoom to patch up differences, and asked for time to meet with both.

Photo Courtesy: President's Office


 Yameen gave time, and Gayoom did not – and that was enough for the Yameen camp to move the civil courts and obtain an order, unseating Gayoom from his party presidency. Earlier, the parliamentary group stuck to their sacking Gayoom’s older son, Faraas, from membership and declared his disqualification to represent PPM in the all-party negotiations, purportedly revived by the government, post-CMAG.
Today, the all-party negotiations have lost their relevance in the Commonwealth’s context, but may still remain, even as a lip-service by all, given the government’s continued commitment to stay ‘engaged’ with the international community. Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who resigned to take up the Commonwealth Special Rapporteur assignment for Maldives, may be ‘unemployed’ just now, but that need not be the case with the UN special envoy, Tamrat Samuel.
A lot however would depend on which way the Yameen leadership on the one hand, and the MDP-led political opposition on the other, and the Gayoom camp, on the third could turn, and turn up, on the all-party negotiations. Already, all sections have gone back on their perceived post-CMAG commitments. The government has continued with pre-conditions that convicts could not be named (say, by the MDP) to rep resent them. The MDP too has harped on the same, after enthusiastically accepting the government’s invitation – but leaving it to the leadership to decide the party nominees for the talks.
Dunya Gayoom (3)

Just now, the Gayoom’s camp’s legal and political positions are unclear. Maumoon is expected to challenge his court-ordered removal as PPM head in higher judicial forums. Alongside and alternatively, he can be expected to consider floating a new party – the third since 2008 – and still nominate son Faraas to the political negotiations, if invited. Yameen’s foe-turned-friend-turned-foe of the past five years, former Home Minister Umar Naseer, too is hoping to be nominated for the presidential polls by the Gayoom camp, making it politically difficult for Gayoom to keep it within the family, still.

After distancing itself from Nasheed’s early claims to an emerging/existing alliance against Yameen, the Gayoom camp surprised followers and foes alike by participating in a recent all-opposition news conference against the nation’s Election Commission – and by extension, the incumbent government. They were protesting against the EC delaying/denying funds disbursements for recognised political parties, as laid down under the 2008 constitution, citing what they considered were ‘extraneous reasons’.
The EC however has threatened to de-recognise parties whose leaders were living overseas and were not available to update Commission documents and electoral lists’ as required. Nasheed and his associates in the MDP-led Maldives United Opposition (MUO), apart from the parties that they lead, are candidates for such de-recognition. Would the MDP and other parties in the EC’s list ‘elect’ leaders for an interim period, which could extend indefinitely, if only to be on EC’s records of recognised political parties authorised to contest future elections, is the question they should be asking themselves.
Over the medium-term, however, with Nasheed out of the country and prison without authorisation, and continuing to remain ‘disqualified’ from contesting the elections, any alternative arrangement  is for the MDP to make and in good time. Independent of the ‘terrorism’ trial that was heaped on Nasheed for what r remained an ordinary criminal trial in the ‘Judge Adbulla abduction case’ dating back to the former’s months as president, the inability of the international community to have an ‘inclusive’ election as he has now envisaged, could flag political, rather than diplomatic issues of their own.
Hopes now thus lie more on the effective revival of the political negotiations, under UN care than on any UNHRC initiatives. There again, the government has been maintaining stoic silence on the continued relevance of the UN group on arbitrary detentions naming Nasheed’s as ‘one’, which it had condemned unequivocally when made. None of the stake-holders, including the UN, can ride on multiple tigers, and hope to reach their destination, purportedly common.
It’s back to square one – who winks first, if at all, how and for how long, and who does not. In context, Maldives quitting the Commonwealth, and the latter feeling saddened about what anyway was in the making, and the UK as the Commonwealth’s founder and eternal chair, too feeling upset, have only academic relevance just now.
So are all the protests and criticisms of the Maldivian exit from the Commonwealth, both from within and outside the country….at least until the other stakeholders have a point to make, and make it loud, clear and effectively in ways the Maldivian state apparatus and the Yameen leadership hear, understand, and are compelled to act upon.  The irony is that the solution to the Maldivian imbroglio lies within, and international diplomacy can only take it away not closer to the ‘collective goal’, which is just not there, either.

(N. Sathiya Moorthy is Director, Chennai Chapter of the Observer  Research Foundation.  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FocusMaldives.)
This article was originally published on South Asia Monitor. It has been republished with permission.

President Yameen Apologises For MMPRC Scam; Opposition Says Not Enough

in News by

As a series of corruption allegations loom over President Abdulla Yameen, he apologised for failing to check the country’s biggest corruption scam in which over USD 80 million was transferred from state coffers to private accounts by the state-owned tourism firm – Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

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President Yameen, who was also implicated in the scam as one the beneficiaries, did not take responsibility for it and shifted the blame on former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.

During the inauguration of USD 15million water and sanitation project in southern city of Fuvahmulah, Yameen said:

Even tonight, I want to apologise that the MMPRC corruption occurred during my presidency. For that I ask forgiveness from the people… But no matter how vigilant we are, criminals will continue to commit crimes. The only means to deter crime is harsher penalties.

He said he was not aware of the fact that adeeb was stealing money from the state contrary to the claims of the former auditor general who had alleged that President Yameen refused to take action when he was informer about the corruption in MMPRC in 2014.

Even though President Yameen apologised for the scam, opposition did not seem convinced and said that it was not enough on his part.

Maldives United Opposition Leader (MUO) Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said that an apology cannot compensate for “robbery” of a billion Rufiyaa and demanded an independent probe seeking his resignation.

Former Foreign Minister of the Maldives and current shadow cabinet minister for MUO Ahmed Naseem said he would never forgive President Yameen for the theft.

Others, too, criticised him for just issuing an apology on the scam.

Maldives Faces Threat Of Suspension From Commonwealth, Now On Formal Agenda By CMAG

in News/Politics by

The Commonwealth in its 49th meeting on Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of the 27th United Nations General Assembly concluded that the group is “deeply disappointed in lack of progress in the Maldives and now on a formal agenda and threat of suspension in March.”

In a two-page report, the CMAG expressed deep disappointment in lack of progress in the priority areas identified in April this year and said,

Ministers expressed deep concern over lack of progress in the progress areas that they earlier identified, and therefore placed Maldives on CMAG’s formal agenda. Ministers agreed that in the absence of substantive progress across the priority areas, the group would consider its options, including suspension from the Council of the Commonwealth, at its next meeting in March next year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Asim and Attorney General Mohamed Anil were also present in the meeting.

The group also asked that both government and opposition to hold dialogue and underlined that the it should be done with full participation and without pre-condition.

The group also addressed the issue of Presidential election due in 2018 and assured a conductive environment for “credible and inclusive” election.

The meeting was held after the review of the situation in the Maldives last week by the human rights wing of the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which in its report to the CMAG, asked suspension of the Maldives from the group concluding that the island nation is sliding to dictatorship and if the situation continues it will be on the “brink of violence and anarchy.”

CHRI expressed grave concern on government failing to comply with the six-point agenda and said, “These actions not only signal the government’s unwillingness to initiate political dialogue, but also indicate that the government is taking steps to actively impede and obstruct any kind of political dialogue. There is clearly no intention on the part of the government to find a political solution.”

Besides, a critical report on the “dictatorial” functioning of the government, CHRI also gave legitimacy to the most important developments that are most likely to help in the expected ouster of President Abdulla Yameen.


Here’s All You Need To Know About The CHRI Report


Maldives United Opposition (MUO)

MUO 1 (3)


The CHRI said in its report that it was the formation of the rainbow coalition Maldives United Opposition (MUO), a united coalition of the previous rivals against President Yameen that showed his unpopularity among his former allies.

“MUO brings together former allies of President Yameen, such as the Adhaalath Party and jailed Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, together with the largest political party, the Maldives Democratic Party, is a sign of growing unpopularity of the present administration,” the report said.

Stealing Paradise By Al Jazeera

stealing paradise


The group also acknowledged the allegations of corruption on President Yameen by Al Jazeera and criticised the government for not initiating any concrete investigations into the cases.

“(We) express concern about the mounting allegations of corruption against officials at the highest political level. The release of “Stealing Paradise”, a documentary by Qatar based Al Jazeera reveals the involvement of President Yameen and his deputies in massive theft and money laundering,” the report said.
“The government has not shown any inclination to investigate these very serious allegations and bring the perpetrators to account. The total lack of accountability combined with the rollback of constitutional rights and democratic norms has led to deep frustration and disillusionment among the people of the Maldives,” it added.

The 2018 Presidential Election

election


The CHRI concluded that if the current scenario continues, the Maldives will not have free and fair Presidential elections due in 2018 and called for a “firm action” by the Commonwealth.

“CHRI strongly believes that the current environment is not at all conducive to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018. In fact, the nation is sliding into a dictatorial system once again. CHRI is worried that, if allowed to continue, the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy.”

The Recommendations

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In the strongly worded report, the CHRI asked Commonwealth to “suspend”, “exclude” and “halt” the current government.

“SUSPEND Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will EXCLUDE the government of the Maldives from all Commonwealth inter government meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM; HALT all Commonwealth technical assistance, other than the mandate of the Special Envoy.”

CMAG Meets On The Sidelines Of UNGA To Discuss ‘Deteriorating Human Rights And Democracy’ In Maldives

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Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has taken up the issue of the Maldives in New York on Friday on the sidelines of the ongoing 27th United Nations General Assembly to discuss the  deteriorating human rights and democracy as the Yameen government failed to fix the six priorities areas set by them in April this year.

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The Human Rights wing of the group- Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) asked the CMAG to suspend the country from the councils of Commonwealth after reviewing the situation in the Maldives last week.

Concluding that the Maldives is “sliding to dictatorship” and “the situation will soon push the island nation on the brink of violence and anarchy”, the CHRI expressed grave concern on government failing to comply with the six-point agenda and said

“These actions not only signal the government’s unwillingness to initiate political dialogue, but also indicate that the government is taking steps to actively impede and obstruct any kind of political dialogue. There is clearly no intention on the part of the government to find a political solution.”

Besides, a critical report on the “dictatorial” functioning of the government, CHRI also gave legitimacy to the most important developments that are most likely to help in the expected ouster of President Abdulla Yameen.


Here’s All You Need To Know


Maldives United Opposition (MUO)

MUO 1 (3)


The CHRI said in its report that it was the formation of the rainbow coalition Maldives United Opposition (MUO), a united coalition of the previous rivals against President Yameen that showed his unpopularity among his former allies.

“MUO brings together former allies of President Yameen, such as the Adhaalath Party and jailed Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, together with the largest political party, the Maldives Democratic Party, is a sign of growing unpopularity of the present administration,” the report said.

Stealing Paradise By Al Jazeera

stealing paradise


The group also acknowledged the allegations of corruption on President Yameen by Al Jazeera and criticised the government for not initiating any concrete investigations into the cases.

“(We) express concern about the mounting allegations of corruption against officials at the highest political level. The release of “Stealing Paradise”, a documentary by Qatar based Al Jazeera reveals the involvement of President Yameen and his deputies in massive theft and money laundering,” the report said.
“The government has not shown any inclination to investigate these very serious allegations and bring the perpetrators to account. The total lack of accountability combined with the rollback of constitutional rights and democratic norms has led to deep frustration and disillusionment among the people of the Maldives,” it added.

The 2018 Presidential Election

election


The CHRI concluded that if the current scenario continues, the Maldives will not have free and fair Presidential elections due in 2018 and called for a “firm action” by the Commonwealth.

“CHRI strongly believes that the current environment is not at all conducive to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018. In fact, the nation is sliding into a dictatorial system once again. CHRI is worried that, if allowed to continue, the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy.”

The Recommendations

chri


In the strongly worded report, the CHRI asked Commonwealth to “suspend”, “exclude” and “halt” the current government.

“SUSPEND Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will EXCLUDE the government of the Maldives from all Commonwealth inter government meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM; HALT all Commonwealth technical assistance, other than the mandate of the Special Envoy.”

From MUO To Stealing Paradise To 2018 Presidential Election: All You Need To Know About CHRI Report

in News/Politics by

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which was here in the Maldives to follow up on Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) six point agenda set in April, asked the latter to suspend the country from the councils of Commonwealth after concluding that the Maldives is “sliding to dictatorship” and “the situation will soon push the island nation on the brink of violence and anarchy”.

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The group expressed grave concern on government failing to comply with the six-point agenda and said, “These actions not only signal the government’s unwillingness to initiate political dialogue, but also indicate that the government is taking steps to actively impede and obstruct any kind of political dialogue. There is clearly no intention on the part of the government to find a political solution.”

Besides, a critical report on the “dictatorial” functioning of the government, CHRI also gave legitimacy to the most important developments that are most likely to help in the expected ouster of President Abdulla Yameen.


Here’s All You Need To Know


Maldives United Opposition (MUO)

MUO 1 (3)


The CHRI said in its report that it was the formation of the rainbow coalition Maldives United Opposition (MUO), a united coalition of the previous rivals against President Yameen that showed his unpopularity among his former allies.

“MUO brings together former allies of President Yameen, such as the Adhaalath Party and jailed Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, together with the largest political party, the Maldives Democratic Party, is a sign of growing unpopularity of the present administration,” the report said.

Stealing Paradise By Al Jazeera

stealing paradise


The group also acknowledged the allegations of corruption on President Yameen by Al Jazeera and criticised the government for not initiating any concrete investigations into the cases.

“(We) express concern about the mounting allegations of corruption against officials at the highest political level. The release of “Stealing Paradise”, a documentary by Qatar based Al Jazeera reveals the involvement of President Yameen and his deputies in massive theft and money laundering,” the report said.
“The government has not shown any inclination to investigate these very serious allegations and bring the perpetrators to account. The total lack of accountability combined with the rollback of constitutional rights and democratic norms has led to deep frustration and disillusionment among the people of the Maldives,” it added.

The 2018 Presidential Election

election


The CHRI concluded that if the current scenario continues, the Maldives will not have free and fair Presidential elections due in 2018 and called for a “firm action” by the Commonwealth.

“CHRI strongly believes that the current environment is not at all conducive to free and fair presidential elections due in 2018. In fact, the nation is sliding into a dictatorial system once again. CHRI is worried that, if allowed to continue, the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy.”

The Recommendations

chri


In the strongly worded report, the CHRI asked Commonwealth to “suspend”, “exclude” and “halt” the current government.

“SUSPEND Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will EXCLUDE the government of the Maldives from all Commonwealth inter government meetings and events, including ministerial meetings and CHOGM; HALT all Commonwealth technical assistance, other than the mandate of the Special Envoy.”

Gayoom & Nasheed, Together Or Not? PPM Says They Are Not!

in News/Politics by

Mohamed Nasheed took the Maldives and rest of the world by surprise when he, in a high profile Skype interview to the foreign correspondents from London, said that he has got the old rival and ex-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on board to topple his half- brother Abdulla Yameen.

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But soon, his claims were refuted, directly and indirectly.

Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), which Gayoom heads, denied his claims and accused Nasheed of lying.

“… (Nasheed is) lying to bring President Maumoon into disrepute and to create discord among PPM members,” Abdul Aleem Adam, the PPM’s deputy secretary-general was quoted by Maldives Independent as saying.

And, Gayoom indirectly via a tweet also indicated his party’s claims and called Nasheed a liar, Focus Maldives understands.
Two days after Nasheed’s claims Gayoom said in his tweet that “Truth will be truth even if you say it once. A lie will be a lie even if you repeat it a thousand times.”


Nasheed, who was jailed more than 20 times in Gayoom’s regime for his criticism, said on September 12 that he was in agreement with the ex-strongman alias Gayoom to fight his half-brother and President Yameen.

The first democratically elected President refused to give any further details but expressed hope that they will work together to bring down Yameen in a “legitimate” way.

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“And so the position of the Maldives United Opposition, of which I am a member, is that for democracy to be restored in the Maldives it is essential that President Yameen be removed from power,” he told Colombo-based reporters via Skype from London on Tuesday.

“…He has lost the support of the Maldivian people, security services, international community and his own party. He has even lost the support of his own brother, former president Gayoom,” he was quoted by international news agency Reuters as saying.

Nasheed also claimed that he also was in talks with his faction of the ruling PPM “for a new political alignment” insisting on a “non-military” coup in the archipelago.

Calling “military-coup” illegal, the 49-year-old leader although said that he want security forces to cooperate with him as when the transition through “legal” and “constitutional” means happens.

“The opposition was expecting Gayoom to get a section of his party to withdraw support for Yameen late last month, but for some reason that did not happen,” said one western diplomatic source in Colombo, speaking on condition of anonymity, as quoted by AFP.
“It is not easy for the opposition to organise any agitation inside the country because all their leaders are either in jail or in exile.”

Nasheed is, however, looking to capitalise on the rift between the half-brothers that came out in open over the controversial tourism bill which Gayoom strongly opposed. Not just Yameen’s supporters defied Progressive Party of the Maldives’ leader whip to pass the bill but also rallied against his son Faris Maumoon Gayoom for not supporting the bill in the People’s Majlis.

Former Autocrat Gayoom Joins Democracy Bandwagon, To Work With Nasheed To Remove Half-Brother Yameen

in News/Politics by

History might be created in the Maldives soon. The Indian Ocean archipelago, which is witnessing political turmoil, international condemnation and an expected coup plot, may soon get both the ex-Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed on board against President Abdulla Yameen to counter his “autocratic” government.

gayoom-nasheed


Nasheed, who was jailed more than 20 times in Gayoom’s regime for his criticism, said that he is in agreement with the ex-strongman alias Gayoom to fight his half-brother and President Yameen, Fox News reported.

The first democratically elected President, who is currently in London, refused to give any further details but expressed hope that they will work together to bring down Yameen in a “legitimate” way.

“And so the position of the Maldives United Opposition, of which I am a member, is that for democracy to be restored in the Maldives it is essential that President Yameen be removed from power,” he told Colombo-based reporters via Skype from London on Tuesday.

“…He has lost the support of the Maldivian people, security services, international community and his own party. He has even lost the support of his own brother, former president Gayoom,” he was quoted by international news agency Reuters as saying.

Nasheed also claimed that he also was in talks with his faction of the ruling PPM  “for a new political alignment”  insisting on a “non-military” coup in the archipelago.

Calling “military-coup” illegal, the 49-year-old leader although said that he want security forces to cooperate with him as when the transition through “legal” and “constitutional” means happens.

“The opposition was expecting Gayoom to get a section of his party to withdraw support for Yameen late last month, but for some reason that did not happen,” said one western diplomatic source in Colombo, speaking on condition of anonymity, as quoted by AFP.

nasheed colombo


“It is not easy for the opposition to organise any agitation inside the country because all their leaders are either in jail or in exile.”

Nasheed is, however, looking to capitalise on the rift between the half-brothers that came out in open over the controversial tourism bill which Gayoom strongly opposed. Not just Yameen’s supporters defied Progressive Party of the Maldives’ leader whip to pass the bill but also rallied against his son Faris Maumoon Gayoom for not supporting the bill in the People’s Majlis.

The current government, which is facing overwhelming accusations of corruption, human rights violations and dictatorial approach, has lost many of its cabinet ministers in past one year. While ex-Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was impeached, ex-Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ex-Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim have been jailed on terrorism charges.

Jameel leads the MUO and the other two have their representations in the rainbow coalition formed with the aim to oust Yameen.

Recently, Gayoom’s daughter and ex-Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon and his one of the loyal party members and ex-Home Minister Umar Naseer resigned from their posts after heads on with Yameen on several issues.

Colombo Cauldron: Yameen’s Presidency Is Crumbling As MUO Goes After His Corruption & #TheOilLeaks Coming Soon

in News/Politics by

In November 2013, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom was elected the president of the Maldives following the alleged “televised coup” of the first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed. Two years and nine months into his rule, politically isolated Yameen now fears ouster by the opposition forces by led the Maldives United Opposition (MUO).

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As the MUO leaders reached Colombo on August 25, speculations over the ‘removal plot’ mounted through a report by BBC- which attributing to its sources- claimed that the “tiny island nation are looking to move against him within weeks.”

MUO’s poster boy and ex-President Nasheed was reportedly present in Colombo to take part in “an important sit-down” to analyse the political situation and strategise on crisis.

Jumping the gun, a government spokesman, whom the news agency did not name, confirmed the attempts of ‘legally’ overthrowing the government with a disclaimer that it would be a “clear breach of international norms.”

“As in every democracy it is the people, via the ballot, who will decide who will next take office,” said the spokesman as quoted by BBC.

And soon, a few loyal leaders of Yameen, spoke candidly about shielding the government from the expected coup d’état.

“We are keeping a close watch on the political landscape. The military and government offices are connected. The army will not allow a transfer of power,” he said in a televised meeting on the state broadcaster TVM two days after arresting four soldiers for allegedly conspiring to overthrow Yameen.

Earlier this month, eight soldiers were also detained on the similar charges, some also had their phone confiscated and are under investigation by MNDF.

COMING SOON! FOCUS MALDIVES’ EXCLUSIVE ON THE $800 MILLION OIL LEAKS

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The MNDF had earlier barred its soldiers from socialising or meeting with politicians, including ministers, and foreigners without permission to prevent feared attempts of toppling the government.

Ruling MP Ahmed Nihan also sending out a clear message to the opposition said, “Even if a gun is held to President Yameen’s head and he is ordered to sign a resignation letter, he will not sign it, even if he falls dead.”

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Yameen’s spokesman Ibrahim Hussain Shihab confirming the political developments as well and alleging a conspiracy with the help of “external forces” which the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) refuted.

But, the party did verify that the opposition leaders were in Colombo to work out strategies to legally topple Yameen, according to AFP.

READ: FOCUS MALDIVES’ EXCLUSIVE ON THE OIL LEAKS- HOW POLITICIANS & BUREAUCRATS MASTERMINDED THE BIGGEST SCAM IN THE MALDIVES

The Oil Leaks 3


The hatch to oust Yameen that has been on MUO’s agenda since its formation in June, intensified parallely at a time when Yameen is under scanner once again for corruption in oil sales to Myanmar dating a decade ago.

The amount of corruption is $800 million.

Also accusing Yameen and his associates of receiving kickbacks from government owned islands, Nasheed told The New York Times, “President Yameen is very, very corrupt, and all the evidence is available. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Government rejected the allegations and called it ploy by “political rivals”. Yameen’s spokesman Sihab defend the government by saying that Yameen never sold oil to Myanmar during his tenure and dismissed receiving illegal payments via oil deals or land deals.

paradiseA documentary titled “Stealing Paradise” announced by Doha-based Al Jazeera that claims to reveal ‘mass corruption, theft and abuse of power in the Maldives’ also coincides with the opposition’s headway.

Downplaying the allegations and criticism, Yameen’s supporters accused MUO of jealousy and hailed him for his “successful development agenda” under #HealingParadise.

The supporters of Yameen even accused opposition of being close to the colonial powers as MUO’s top leadership- Nasheed along with former Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and MDP Chairman Ali Waheed- were granted asylum by the British government.

Yameen is already reeling under international pressure to step down for abuse of power, flouting human rights and stifling dissent during his regime.

He has also alienated himself from the top political leadership including the longest ruling dictator, half-brother and mentor Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Most of his cabinet ministers – who now have representation in MUO- have been jailed or sacked, while some chose to resign due to his “dictatorial” attitude.

While former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Defence Minister Ahmed Nazim were jailed, former Vice President Ali Waheed was impeached; former Home Minister Umar Naseer and former Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon chose to resign.

Akram Resigns As RajjeTV Chairman Soon After Joining MUO Shadow Cabinet

in News by

Akram Kamalluddin resigned as Chairman of private television channel RajjeTV on Saturday hours after he was appointed the Media Secretary of the Shadow Cabinet formed by the Maldives United Opposition.

RajjeTV Breaks News On Twitter

Akram Kamaluddin

The channel broke the news on its Twitter handle on Saturday, saying that Akram has also left the company, Television Private Limited, selling off his shares.

RaajjeTV’s Chief Operating Officer Hussain Fiyaz Moosa thanked him for his “priceless” contribution.

A member of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Akram also heads the party in Male’ region.

Akram told RajjeTV that he was putting in his papers as he was unable to perform his duties as Chairman.

According to reports, he is currently in the UK.

His Alleged Involvement In Forged Arrest Warrant

yameen gayoom 1

According to an anonymous witness, Akram and former Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed were involved in the conspiracy to arrest President Abdulla Yameen using a bogus court order.

Police are making efforts to question both Akram and Jameel in the case.

Police Disperse MDP’s Prayer Gathering Using Pepper Spray: All You Need To Know

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The Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) weekly prayer gathering was forcibly dispersed on Friday by the police who used pepper spray on the crowd and also detained some people.

MDP Condemns Police Action

MDP prayer gathering

The main opposition party issued a statement condemning the government’s attempts to disallow peaceful gatherings, terming its actions unconstitutional.
“Sending the police there on the orders of President Abdulla Yameen’s government and continuing to obstruct the prayer with force by confronting worshippers is absolutely unconstitutional,” the MDP’s statement read.

According to reports, MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy was also pepper sprayed at close range.

Police Put Out Statement

The police also issued a statement on Friday night denying that any arrests were made as claimed by the MDP. The police added that political activities will not be allowed inside or near mosques.

The law enforcement agency claimed that the gathering was dispersed “peacefully and without a disturbance.”

A History Of Police Action On MDP’s Peaceful Gatherings

pepper spray

Ever since the arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed in February 2015, MDP’s supporters have been gathering outside Malé’s main mosque every week after Friday prayers where they pray for the release of jailed politicians and for the restoration of true democracy in the country.

Police have regularly dispersed the gathering and detained people for several days since mid-April 2015.

On Wednesday morning as well a prayer gathering planned by the Maldives United Opposition (MUO) outside the Islamic centre was thwarted by the police.
“At first, the police just said they didn’t have a problem with us performing the prayer, but only with the media being there,” MOU Spokesman Ahmed Mahloof said.

“I told them the press will surely be there to cover President Yameen’s Eid handshake ceremony [at the mosque] later. If that event is not political and our prayer is, then that’s a joke, is it not?”

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