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President Nasheed, a worse dictator than Gayoom during his 30 year rule – Maldives Former Attorney General Diyana Saeed

Maldives former Attorney General Diyana Saeed today told media that, “President Mohamed Nasheed’s shows more characteristics of a dictatorship than ex-president Gayoom in his thirty year rule”. Diyana Saeed was arbitrarily sacked by President Nasheed just this week, because she went public with her many injunctions to Nasheed to stop violating the constitution and the laws of the country.

Elaborating on her statement, Diyana said, “The recent Presidential Commission created by Nasheed to allegedly investigate embezzlement of state funds is nothing but his vehicle to persecute political opponents. He created this commission without any consultation with the Attorney General’s Office and coming on the heels of his huge failure at the parliamentary polls, it is obvious that Nasheed intends to muzzle the opposition with this commission.”

Diyana also stated that her sacking was a “veiled threat by President Nasheed, not specifically to other members of the cabinet or other members from the coalition, but a veiled threat to members occupying independent positions in other independent institutions”.

The former Attorney General expressed grave concern about the threat posed by President Nasheed to the Judiciary. “The Judiciary is in an interim stage. They have to be re-appointed, they have to be re-confirmed and President Nasheed does hold powers, definitely with regards to the Supreme Court, he holds the powers to send those names to parliament. So I think it acts as a veiled threat. And that really concerns me”, she said.

When questioned by the media about her dismissal, Diyana said it did not come as a surprise to her. “About two weeks ago, President Nasheed threatened me with dismissal so I knew it was coming. I had cleared my table about 12-14 days before”, she said

President Nasheed had also tried to coerce her into acceding to his demands, she revealed. “Just after my last statement from the attorney general’s office, President Nasheed called Gasim Ibrahim the leader of my party and asked him to take action against me. Apparently Gasim had responded by saying that if I had done something out of line or in contravention of the law, then he must inform that in writing to the council and that’s where any action would be taken”, she said.

Diyana defended going public with her injunctions to President Nasheed to stop violating the constitution and the law. “I seriously underestimated the president’s capacity to flout the law. I knew the president well enough not to write it in confidence because I knew that he would just pop it into a drawer. So I made it public so that it would act as a deterrent, but it didn’t”, she said.

The Press Secretary yesterday reported that President Nasheed was considering abolishing the Attorney General’s Office. When it was pointed out to President Nasheed that this was a portfolio stated in the Constitution, Nasheed went on the backfoot claiming that his intention was not to abolish the portfolio of the Attorney General, but to abolish the office. He would be locating the Attorney General’s portfolio in The President’s Office, he claimed today. These proposed actions by President Nasheed certainly lend strength to former Attorney General Diyan Saeed’s conclusion that, “what Nasheed wants as Attorney General is a Gon’di kokko (a minion who rubber stamps his boss’s decisions) who will fulfill his every wish”.

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