More street protests in Male
The published report of a Commission of National Enquiry (CNI) into the replacement of former president Mohamed Nasheed by current President Waheed Hassan has caused street protests in the capital Malé.
The report which was presented to the president yesterday states that “The resignation of President Nasheed was voluntary and of his own free will. It was not caused by any illegal coercion or intimidation.”
But the report does say that there were acts of violence against the former president’s supporters soon after he stood down. “There were acts of police brutality on 6, 7 and 8 February 2012 that must be investigated and pursued further by the relevant authorities” states the CNI report.
The report continues “There appears nothing contestable in constitutional terms under the generic notion of a ‘coup d’état’ that is alleged to have occurred – quite to the contrary, in fact. . . .In terms of the democratic intent and legitimacy of the authority of the Presidency, as foreseen in the Constitution, President Waheed properly succeeded President Nasheed. . . .As President Nasheed clearly resigned and now challenges the voluntariness and legitimacy of his action, the onus is on him to establish illegal coercion or unlawful intimidation.”
The content of the report was not welcomed by Nasheed’s supporters who immediately went on to the streets in protests which are likely to continue for some days. Members of the ex-president’s Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) said that they were determined to bring the current government down through more street protests and urged people from other islands in the Maldives to join them.
Although the report has been endorsed by the Commonwealth, United Nations and India, the protests will continue. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued cautionary warnings for this tourist destination island group.