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Yameen Regime

UN Issues Concern Amid ‘Increasing Polarisation’, Calls For An Inclusive All Parties Dialogue

in News by

Concerned by the increasing polarization in the Maldives, which has made dialogue among the Government and political parties increasingly difficult, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged all concerned to work toward an inclusive dialogue.

“The Secretary-General strongly encourages all concerned to work toward an inclusive dialogue aimed at finding mutually acceptable solutions based on compromise, the primacy of the national interest and the preservation of democratic principles and institutions,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

The statement added that the UN reiterates its readiness to extend its support to an inclusive and genuine dialogue and continue facilitation efforts.

MDP Cries Foul Over Election Commission’s Removal Of MPs Eva Abdulla And Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

in News/Politics by

In a deteriorating political climate in the Maldives, the Election Commission has struck off nearly half of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s members from its registry after the parliament approved a law requiring all political party members to submit their fingerprint records.

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Some 18,803 members were removed, reducing the main opposition party’s membership to 27,805 members.

The Election Commission on Thursday, effectively removed MDP MPs, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla from the Party’s membership list. MP Ibu Solih is a founding member of the MDP, and is also the Party’s Parliamentary Group Leader. MP Ibu Solih is currently serving his fifth term in Parliament, whereas MP Eva Abdulla is serving her second.

The Election Commission, whose independence has been compromised since the appointment of individuals politically aligned to the Yameen Government, began their insidious meddling with Party membership lists in July 2014.

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MDP MP Eva Abdulla is the first women to be elected to the governing council of the Maldives first democratic party.

A fingerprinted form for political party membership was first introduced by a regulation in 2010, and by law in 2013. Then in July 2014, the elections commission gave all parties a six-month deadline to re-register all members whose fingerprints were not on file.

Other parties affected by the law include the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party. The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives, which emerged as a breakaway faction of the DRP in 2011, will not be affected.

The PPM, with 37,633 members, is now the largest political party in the country.

The DRP lost nearly 10,000 members, and now has only 3,966 registered members. The JP’s membership was reduced by 3000, while some 1000 members were taken off the AP’s registry.

The JP now has 10,989 members, and the AP has 9,009.

The MDP and the DRP challenged the order at the civil court, arguing that the requirement cannot be applied retroactively, a view the attorney general has supported.

The case moved onto the High Court, which granted an injunction on the Election Commission’s order. In reaction to the injunction, the ruling party used its majority to circumvent the courts and passed an amendment to the Political Parties requiring all members to submit fingerprinted membership forms or be taken off the lists.

MPs Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla have submitted fingerprinted forms twice to the Election Commission only to be repeatedly rejected. Their forms were submitted prior to the deadline and following the second submission they were not informed of the cause of rejection.

MDP’s International Spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Gafoor said, “it is slightly suspicious how keen the EC were to inform Parliament of the removal of MDP MP Ibu Solih and MP Eva Abdulla when they and the Parliament have repeatedly refused to acknowledge the MDP’s requests to remove MP Moosa Manik as a member of the MDP’s Parliamentary Group. The EC’s actions continue to obstruct peaceful political activity, making a mockery of our constitution and the hopes for a free and fair election.”


Although the PPM claims the law is necessary to prevent fraud, MDP MPs said it was aimed at reducing the party’s membership, and cutting off its state funding, as the number of members in a party determines the size of the annual grant it receives from the state budget.

The elections commission has meanwhile withheld funding for all political parties citing leadership vacuums and mismanagement by some parties.

This comes at a time when there is growing disillusionment in the institutions of the Maldives, including the independence of the Election Commission.

In July, former President of the Elections Commission, , had said that the people of the  have lost confidence in the institution and that there was no need of introducing in the island nation.

 

Maldives: The Curse Of Independence

in Opinion by

Sumon K Chakrabarti - Author

In 2008, the Maldives had emerged as a beacon of democratic hope across the globe. A fledgling democracy had started taking baby steps in Asia’s longest-running dictatorship – a 100 percent Sunni Muslim nation. The road to democracy in Maldives, a string of 1,192 mostly uninhabited coral atolls, was painful. Some 500 miles off the tip of India, the Maldives have gone through a sea-change since 2008 – from an alleged coup de’tat to ‘dystopia’.

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Today, the world’s leading honeymoon destination, once the world’s most secular Sunni Muslim nation, is being driven towards hardline Islam, especially ‘Sharia’ by none other than its controversial and increasingly autocratic president Abdullah Yameen Gayoom – half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The irony though, has just begun, unflinching in it’s almost ‘funny (sic) side’ of brazenness.

The road to democracy in Maldives, a string of 1,192 mostly uninhabited coral atolls, was painful. Some 500 miles off the tip of India, the Maldives have gone through a sea-change since 2008 – from an alleged coup de’tat to ‘dystopia’.

It was on this day in 1965, July 26th, that the Maldives gained independence from the United Kingdom after 77 years as a British protectorate. Ironic yet true that the archipelago in the Indian Ocean marks its 51st anniversary of independence where most of its opposition political figures had to seek refuge in the land of their once colonial masters or they have been shoved behind bars. Most notable among them, the first democratic president of the island nation and the poster boy of international climate change – Mohamed Nasheed; along with Yameen’s former vice-president Mohamed Jameel who was impeached by his own boss!

If you thought that that was the ultimate ‘welcome to the dark side of life’ sign ever, Yameen trumped himself with an Independence Day speech on Monday night. The President insisted that death penalty has to be implemented because Qur’an says so, & therefore, that it cannot be stopped. He is hell-bent that the first execution of a convict in sixty years since 1953 will take place under his watch as a reiteration of Maldives’ Islamic credentials.

As he painted a Maldives as in a post-Tsunami dystopia, besieged by criminals, ‘disruptors of peace and harmony’, where ‘friendly scuffles between minors had escalated to the point’ in which ‘warfare is publicly declared,’ Yameen offered himself as the savior.

“The number of parties envious of our 100 percent Islamic nation are many. Every day is a day when the Government is pressured into allowing Maldives to become a multi-religious society. Every day is of warnings and caution over implementation of Islamic Shariah, teaching of Islam. There is a faction of traitors, bent on damaging the nation’s peace, stability, progress,” he proclaimed.

Addressing the nation, the President laid out a Nixon-esque chaotic vision of a country enveloped in smoke and flame where you hear ‘sirens in the night’.

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President Abdulla Yameen addressing nation on the occasion of 51st Independence Day

And the real issues got drowned.

Nearly 40 radicalised Maldivians have been documented to have left the country of 400,000 to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But more alarming, ISIS-affiliations are being shown in openly on the streets and the government has stayed mum, fanning a base of violence and muddling the serene turquoise waters in this picturesque setting of cobbled roads and luxury resorts.

And then there is his elder brother Maumoon Gayoom, a former Egyptian-trained Islamic cleric, who ruled the nation of 370,000 like his personal sultanate for three decades and laid the foundation for many vices that the nation still grapples to resolve. Gayoom and his government have faced allegations of human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, torture and custodial deaths. But most overwhelmingly, for corrupting a judiciary, which has been usurped more swiftly by his half-brother now in power. As a defeat in the first-ever democratic elections stared in his face, the elder Gayoom ensured the judges he appointed stayed as is.

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Maldives flag & flag of jihad in textbook dedicated to “fruits” of Jihad, claiming that the ultimate fruit of Jihad is martyrdom, for which the reward in Islam is an eternity in heaven

But who did he appoint? 60 percent of the current judges have less than a seventh grade education, 30 percent have actual criminal records and a couple of sex-tapes!

But as the elder Gayoom has taken on his half-brother openly and viciously, the walls around President Yameen have started crumbling. One brick by another. He has jailed his allies, maimed his opponents, and crushed his critics too many times in the last 2 years. The result : a disjointed opposition came together in a united coalition where his own are deserting him and those even half-connected via blood is baying for his.

And in his last-ditch effort to hang on to power (which he referred to as “prevent such uncivilized behavior” in his Independence Day speech), Yameen is doing what many a tyrant have done in Islamic history – cling to their own interpretation of hardline Islam.

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Ministers and bureaucrats praying on the occasion of Independence Day

Therefore, he sees implementing death penalty is a clear commandment in Islam. He said as the leader of the nation, the responsibility on him to implement the verdict was bigger on him. “Islamic Shariah and the legal structure under the Constitution, excludes the President from this narrative. In Islam, capital punishment is mandated for all murderers; this is clearly said in the Quran. Therefore, implementing death penalty is a must in order to maintain rule of law,” he said.

And if the Maldives today had a version of the reality series The Apprentice, President Yameen would have already been singing what Donald Trump said in a baritone once : “This is a dictatorship and I’m the dictator. There’s no voting and there’s no jury.”

Welcome to the Maldives. The sun is setting. The martini has been spilled. Happy Independence Day. We always knew they will come back, but at what cost!


[Sumon K Chakrabarti Is The Founder-Editor Of FocusMaldives.com]

Inside Paradise: Uniting The Maldives Opposition

in Opinion by

author band abbas

The idea of a Maldivian united opposition may sound a contradiction in terms but the mere fact that people have been talking about it and the meeting that took place in London on 1 June is a brave and novel move.

UnitedOpposition-Maldives 1

I was invited to attend that meeting as an independent guest, and it was good to see that people had eventually come to their senses, seeing that no politician, even those close to President Yameen, are safe with him.

Politicians who ignored Yameen’s attack on constitutional safeguards and helped him consolidate his grip on power have now realized that by doing so they had simply secured a place for themselves in the Dhoonidhoo and other detention centers. It is now inevitable that they should be seeking to reverse that outcome.

At the Maldives ‘United opposition’ meeting in London, the question that came to my mind was whether this alliance was going to last. Did those sitting on the panel know the enormity of the responsibility they were committing themselves to?

While opposition politicians appear more seasoned now by showing a degree of maturity in coming together, there is no evidence to suggest that Yameen will change his apparent determination to crush the opposition.

However, the stronger the opposition will be the more difficult will be for Yameen to ignore democratic and human rights safeguards. That is not just what opposition politicians wish; civil society activists wish it to happen too, as would the majority of the people who did not vote for Yameen in the first round of presidential elections, which prompted the judiciary to step in and change the rules in Yameen’s favour.

In the Maldives, as in other South Asian countries, people vie to win elections at any cost, and once President or Prime Minister, they start to use state institutions such as the police and the judiciary to suppress their political opponents. In recent decades, this has been true of most South Asian leaders. Nasheed could not and did not use the tools to consolidate his power. Yameen is determined to do just that.

Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has introduced a completely new rule to the game. No sooner than he secured his presidency – with support of course from a compliant judiciary and all but one of the other contestants – he turned against the very people who brought him to power.

First, he went for the parties who had allied with him and jailed their leaders or threatened them that they would be jailed; and then, he went for the judiciary, removed the less compliant judges and divided the benches.

Everyone thinks it was Nasheed’s initiative to nite the opposition, but it is actually Yameen who has done all necessary work for that. And judging by how Yameen continues to ignore the popular demand for human rights and democracy, he will continue with the work of uniting the opposition.

Like other South Asian autocratic rulers, including his half-brother Gayoom before him, President Yameen is labouring under the illusion that everything will remain the same, forever. Sadly, such politicians have no sense of history.

At the Maldives ‘United opposition’ meeting in London, the question that came to my mind was whether this alliance was going to last. Did those sitting on the panel know the enormity of the responsibility they were committing themselves to?

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It is early days and one cannot judge how this opposition alliance will fare in the long run. But I think they all know that the only person who will joyfully benefit from a crack in this opposition will be President Yameen. There is therefore a good chance that the alliance may survive. If it does, it will usher a new era of political maturity in the Maldives, and set an example for the South Asian politicians to put democracy before their narrow personal interests.

(Abbas Faiz is Human rights expert and South Asia specialist with 31 years experience working as South Asia Specialist for Amnesty International, focussing on Bangladesh and the Maldives. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FocusMaldives.)

Maldives United Opposition Has Detailed Plans To Topple Yameen Regime: Mahloof

in News/Politics by
The shadow cabibet of the Maldives United Opposition hold their first meeting.
The shadow cabibet of the Maldives United Opposition hold their first meeting.

The Maldive United Opposition spokesperson, MP Ahmed Mahloof has said that the entity has a detailed plan to oust President Yameen’s government.

Upon his return from the UK, Mahloof told reporters that the purpose of the entity is to unite all opposition figures in the journey to restore democracy to the island nation.

“We have no choice but to topple the Yaameen regime. Or else we would lose our nation”, he insisted.

Mahloof also claimed that the Maldives United Opposition has the support of members of the security forces as well as independent commissions.

He also said that the Maldives United Opposition shadow cabinet will hold its first meeting to decide on participating of the parties in the upcoming local council election.

ALSO READ: EX-VP JAMEEL TO LEAD UNITED MALDIVES OPPOSITION

The cabinet portfolios are as follows:

Abdulla Ameen as Shadow Minister of Defence and National Security, Mohamed Shihab as Shadow Minister of Finance and Treasury, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali as Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Ahmed Naseem as Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adam Azim as Shadow Minister of Trade and Transport, Mohamed Aslam as Shadow Minister of Environment, Waste Management and Clean Energy, Uz. Hisaan Hussain as Shadow Minister of Judicial Reform, Ahmed Nasheed as Shadow Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, Shifa Mohamed as Shadow Minister of Education, Dr. Mustafa Lutfi as Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Mohamed Shifaz as Shadow Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari as Shadow Minister of Islamic Affairs, Uz. Hassan Latheef as Shadow Minister of Civil Rights, Gais Naseer as Shadow Minister of Local Government and Decentralisation, Ibrahim Ameer as Shadow Minister of International Financial Agreements, Fisheries and Agriculture, Shidhatha Shareef as Shadow Minister of Health, Social Protection and Gender Maleeh Jamal – Shadow Minister of Resort & Guesthouse Tourism, Ali Niyaz as Shadow Minister of Elections Commission and Independent Institutions Reform and Hussain Shameem as Shadow Minister of Constitutional Reform.

While the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Chairperson Ali Waheed will be the Vice Chair of the cabinet, former President Nasheed, Adhaalath Party Leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim will be advisors to the cabinet.

Ex-Prez Nasheed Thanks UK For Asylum, Inaugurates United Maldives Opposition

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Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was grated political refugee status by the United Kingdom on May 23, has thanked the people of Britain and the government during the inauguration United Maldives Coalition- a rainbow coalition of representatives from different parties and prominent political leaders.

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Former President Mohamed Nasheed inaugurating the United Maldives Opposition (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@benedictrogers)

I thank the British people and the government for granting me political asylum- Former President Mohamed Nasheed

Naheed has inaugurated the united opposition coalition to oust the current government on Wednesday in London. Former Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed- impeached by President Addulla Yameen last year- will be heading the united opposition.

I hope to work for Dr.Jameel, to garner support for him, and help him form a transitional government

The Maldives has reverted back to dictatorship and Maldivians have lost their rights

Along with Nasheed and Jameel, representatives of jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, jailed former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and the Adhaalath Party have participated in the meeting held in Royal Overseas League in Green Park in London. Read More

Ex-VP Jameel To Lead United Maldives Opposition

in News/Politics by
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Mohamed Jameel Ahmed will lead the united coalition of opposition  (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MJameelAhmed

Former President Mohamed Naheed, who is a political refugee in the United Kingdom, has inaugurated the united opposition coalition to oust the current government on Wednesday in London.

Former Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed- impeached by President Addulla Yameen last year- will be heading the united opposition.

President Nasheed said, our past differences does not stop us from working together for our country. We also believe that President Yameen is a threat, to not only Maldives, but for the stability of the region- Mohamed Jameel Ahmed

The new coalition has been announced in a meeting held between representatives of different opposition parties and prominent politicians in London on June 1.

We seek democracy because we want a better life, a more dignified one. President Yameen, in his efforts to cultivate like minded friends, is doing unimaginable things. I believe that this is a historic day and that we will be able to come up with a resolution and restore democracy in the Maldives- Former President Mohamed Nasheed

The United Opposition:

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  • Former Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, former President Mohamed Nasheed, representatives of jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, jailed former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and the Adhaalath Party will participate in the meeting to form a coalition opposition to oust the current government

  • Former Vice President Jameel Ahmed- who was impeached last year by the Yameen government- will be heading the new rainbow coalition

  • The meeting will be held in Royal Overseas League in Green Park on June 1

The Motive:

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  • The joint statement by all the representative called to “explore ways of legally prevent the Maldives’ continued slide into dictatorship and authoritarianism” under Yameen

  • Yameen is being accused of corruption, terrorism financing and money laundering


  • No clarity whether the coalition is heading to remove the President from office
  • MDP- allied Jumhooree Party – which had split with Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives – said that it is “unaware” of any such development

  • Jumhooree Party’s deputy leader Ahmed Ameen is said to be attending the meeting in his personal capacity

Absconding Leaders:

  • The head of the new coalition- Jameel- had fled to the UK days before he was impeached by the PPM-dominated parliament

  • Ameen had fled to London with MDP Chairperson Ali Waheed in June last year days before they were to be charged with terrorism. Charges against Ameen was later lifted but he fears returning home due to pending charges against him

Mas-Huni Brief: Jameel To Lead United Opposition?

in Mas-Huni Brief/News by

Jameel To Oust Yameen Regime With United Opposition?

Ex-VP Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed likely to head new coalition. Final decision to be announced on June 1 when all the Maldivian opposition leaders in exile, including Mohamed Nasheed, in the UK will gather at Overseas League in Green Park.

Of Teacher And Terrorism

Abdullah Mauroof a popular teacher in Laamu atoll was arrested for alleged links to terror organisation. The leading teacher was sacked before being arrested. Angry parents lodged protest with teachers in island calling for a day strike

MoniCon Order On 10 Gang Leaders

Home Affairs Minister Umar Naseer orders Moniter & Control order against 10 gang leaders to curb rising gang-war. HC ordered tagging on certain individuals with 12 persons tagged so far. MoniCon violation carries sentence of 18 months in jail or house arrest

Best Beach Destination Award Goes To…

Italia Travel awards Maldives as Best Beach Destination 2016. Maldives beat Seychelles and Polynesia in the category. Italia Travel Award is like the ‘Oscar’ of tourism industry in Italy. 27,167 Italians visited Maldives in first quarter of 2016

Govt Calls EU’s Resolution ‘Irresponsible’: 5 Things You Need To  Know About It

in News/Politics by

After European Union adopted a resolution to adopt a resolution seeking imposition of sanctions on the country, the government has hit back calling it “inappropriate” and “irresponsible”.

The resolution was passed condemning the frequent “human rights abuses” committed during President Abdulla Yameen’s regime.

EU Parliament 1


Here are 5 things you need to know:

  1. The government has called European Union’s resolution calling for sanction against country “inappropriate” and “irresponsible”

  2. Europen Union has passed a resolution condemning, what it called, “the human rights abuses” committed by President Abdulla Yameen, and calling for targeted sanctions to be imposed on his officials and supporters in the business community

    EU 2


  3. The government said that the resolution has a number of inaccuracies, misrepresentations and baseless allegations

  4. Calling it “inappropriate” and “irresponsible”, the government criticised EU for asking release of detainees and prisoners who have committed “serious criminal offences”

  5. The government also added that it will continue working closely with EU

What Made Prez Yameen Declare Emergency?

in News/Politics by

The government has declared a nationwide 30-day state of Emergency on Wednesday citing threats to national security and public safety. The emergency was declared by President Abdulla Yameen who issued the executive decree based on advice from the National Security Council.

Abdulla Yameen


What made President declare emergency? Here are 5 things that you need to know:

  1. President Abdulla Yameen has declared 30-day state of Emergency issuing executive decree based on advice from the National Security Council

  2. The decree suspends all basic rights and gives sweeping powers to security force

  3. The 2013 Freedom of Assembly Act was suspended

  4. The government has said that the state of emergency was limited to 30 days and a curfew would not be imposed

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  5. The declaration has come two days ahead of a mass protest planned by the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), whose leader Mohamed Nasheed is in jail after a conviction under anti-terror laws

  6. The emergency was declared following recent discovery of firearms and explosives on uncovering plots to use dangerous weapons

  7. The military also seized weapons from an uninhabited island that included several guns, a T56 assault rifle and a MP5 sub-machine gun

    boat blast

  8. The move followed blast in a speedboat carrying President which he escaped unhurt. Vice President Ahmed Adeeeb has been arrested for allegedly masterminding the assasination attempt

  9. Under article 254 of Maldivian constitution, a state of Emergency “may include the temporary suspension of the operation of laws and infringement of certain fundamental rights and freedoms

  10. The constitution mandates 14-day notice before imposing the emergency, however, it was not taken into consideration and it can be challenged in the Parliament
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