In an address broadcast on the state radio Voice of Maldives at 7:15 today, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed again accused the Maldives Police Services of unjustified delays in their investigations into Auditor General Maakun Naeem’s reports on corruption issues of the previous administration.
Last May, speaking to his ardent loyalists, President Nasheed had accused the police of deliberately delaying their investigations. In the following days, Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh undertook a series of illegal raids on opposition MP private offices and homes. The raids were made without required court warrants. The Judiciary had rejected police requests for such warrants on the grounds that police had insufficient evidence to justify their proposed searches.
In his radio address, President Nasheed also stated that he is categorically opposed to two bills submitted to the Parliament by members that would undermine his powers to appoint State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other appointees to certain political posts.
One of the two bills President Nasheed referred to is the Bill submitted by Mohamed Nasheed (Independent MP for the Kulhudhufushi North Constituency) stating that the powers to appoint and remove the Police Commissioner should not be vested solely with the President. The proposed amendment is to require parliamentary approval for the appointment and removal of the Police Commissioner. The justification given by the MP for his proposed amendment is to ensure that the police remains a civilian force that is not subject to the political whims of the President. The current Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh is Nasheed’s political appointee, whose family is well connected to Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
The other Bill opposed by President Nasheed is a bill submitted by Riyaz Rasheed (Qaumee Party MP for the Thaa Constutuency) stating that appointment of State Ministers & Deputy Ministers must be approved by the Parliament prior to their appointment. The justification given by MP Riyaz for this amendment is the rapid proliferation of State Ministers and Deputy Ministers in President Nasheed’s government. Yesterday, again President Nasheed appointed 2 State Ministers and a Deputy Minister. All of yesterday’s appointees were candidates from his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) who had lost in the recent parliamentary elections.
President Nasheed in his address today attempted to justify his creation of a Presidential Commission (widely referred to as Nasheed’s Witch Hunt Commission) allegedly to investigate corruption of the previous regime. The Commission has been slammed by top legal experts in the country as unconstitutional, and with extra legal powers that infringe on the powers of constitutionally mandated independent commissions and offices. President Nasheed said today that his purpose was to assist the police and the constitutional independent commissions in their investigations related to the Auditor General’s reports.
Nasheed said his Commission would assist the country’s political parties in the identification and strengthening of their future leadership and would also act as a watch-dog over activities of his government’s officials. He did not elaborate on how the Commission was assisting political parties.
President Nasheed’s Witch Hunt Commission is led by his crony Ali Shiyam, son of key MDP financier Abdulla Ali. The Commission consists of MDP radicals publicly known for their virulent hate attacks on opposition leaders. The homosexual leader of the religious fundamentalist party Adhaalath Party Hussein Rasheed is also a member and Additional-Chairman of the Witch Hunt Commission. Hussain Rasheed has been vociferous in hate attacks against former president and opposition leader Gayoom.
The audit reports which President Nasheed has ordered the police to investigate are targeted at leading members of the opposition. Auditor General Maakun Naeem, President Nasheed’s close crony and a member of one of MDP’s leading families the Maakun Family, has been slammed by top legal and financial experts for rampant unprofessionalism in his audit practices and for corruption. The Anti Corruption Commission is presently investigating two cases of corruption against Auditor General Maakun Naeem. Concrete evidence has been presented of cases where Maakun Naeem used Audit Office funds for his private use, and Audit Office credit card for personal expenses.
President Nasheed’s radio address today continues his hate and persecution campaign against opposition leaders. He has publicly threatened that he would arrest opposition leaders in the upcoming days even if for a few minutes. However, the Judiciary has remained firm in refusing to issue warrants for the arrest of Nasheed’s targets such as Deputy Speaker of parliament Ahmed Nazim. MP Nazim is Deputy leader of the opposition People’s Alliance Party and MP for Meemu Dhiggaru constituency.
In contrast to the Judiciary, the Maldives Human Rights Commission has so far not taken any action to protect the individual human rights of the opposition leaders. The HRC has been requested by Opposition Leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for action to uphold his human rights in the face of his sustained persecution by President Nasheed, top political leaders in his government and his party MDP. Rights of individuals embodied in the Bill of Rights such as the right to non-discrimination, equality before the law, the right to privacy, right to protect reputation and name, right to fair administrative action, right to fair and transparent hearings, and freedom from unlawful arrest or detention are being violated ad nauseaum by President Nasheed. The HRC has so far been silent on the issue.