Trouble in Paradise Part V: President Yameen military takeover after the Supreme Court ruling!
“We are working to make sure we can respect the Maldives Supreme Court order in a way that doesn’t cause any difficulties to the people” President Abdul Yameen
President Abdullah Yameen is no stranger to use military and use of security agents against state institutions in his own favor. He has done this before. Therefore, that he is doing it again is not surprising anyone. This time he extends the issues and pressure with the force, in a state of affairs that overbearing.
The Maljis, the Parliament was today sealed off by the army as the opposition planned a no confidence vote against the President, Attorney General and the prosecutor General. That means, they distrust the whole government and their affairs. Since he has also changed appointed several Police Chiefs in the recent days, I count three and is lost with the new leaders name. After the hold-up of political prisoners and the defiance of Supreme Court ruling.
“Several police and soldiers led by General Shiyam, the chief of defense force renewed their vows today, saying that they are ready to sacrifice their lives “in the defense of the lawful government”. They ceremony was broadcasted live on state TV” (Junayad, 04.02.2018).
We know there are battles ahead as the Velena International Airport of Male has been closed and all planes today going there has been sent to nearest in Colombo in Sri Lanka. That meaning that the government has sealed off more than the Parliament, but also the National Airspace.
During the recent days after the 1st February Supreme Court ruling of releasing the political prisoners and former President Nasheed. This has clearly rocked the boat of Yameen, who feels under threat. Even the Presidency own Press Release breathes of it:
“Highlighting that security authorities have received information that, sometime today, the Supreme Court may issue a ruling to impeach the President, the Attorney General advised all law enforcement agencies not to comply with any order that is in conflict with the Constitution of the Maldives, as the Supreme Court does not have any legal or constitutional authority to initiate the removal of a President from Office. Meeting the media earlier today, the Attorney General underscored that under Article 8 of the Constitution, all State affairs must be carried out in accordance with the Constitution of the Maldives. He emphasised that Article 8 does not in any way exempt any institution or branch of power, and that all institutions and powers of the State must function in accordance with the Constitution. Hence, no institution of the State may exercise a power outside the Constitutional guidelines, the Attorney General said” (Presidency Maldives – ‘AG advises law enforcement agencies to uphold constitution and disregard all illegal orders’ 04.02.2018).
So that the Majlis are planning to undermine this power by a vote is seemingly distorting this idea and therefore, the excess of power is examining the issues within the Presidency. This being also resignation of Minster of Education Ahmed Riyaz, who stated to the world: “My conscience doesn’t allow me to support a government that is so reluctant to obey the rule of law and orders of the Supreme Court of Maldives” (Ahmed Riyaz, 04.02.2018).
Others who has resigned since 1st February 2018 are the Secretary General of People’s Majlis Ahmed Mohamed, the Under Secretary of Foreign Relations Fayyaz Shathir and Director of Prisoners Salman Rasheed. Therefore, the neglecting of following the rules of law, are something many leaders of the republic doesn’t stand for.
So when reading the court ruling of 1st February 2018, you know it hurt the pride of the President, that wanted to keep his enemies and opponents at bay. The legal system was supposed in his mind to keep them away, instead the laws and codes of law. Has saved them, but he doesn’t want to obey this legislation that prohibits this sort of hostage taking within the law-system.
Key aspect for me in the unofficial translation of the Court Ruling is this:
“Whereas the legislature, one of the three powers of the State has been suspended and unable to exercise its functions for a long time, and whereas no member of the People’s Majlis has legally lost membership of the Majlis since the date of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Case Number 17/SC-A/2017, the People’s Majlis, including those who remained as members prior to the date of the said ruling, shall in accordance with the Constitution and the law, conduct the first sitting of the first session of the People’s Majlis for the year 2018” (…) “Upon deliberation of matters petitioned at the Supreme Court under supervisory jurisdiction claiming: criminal proceedings were conducted based on political motivations; and in violation of the Constitution and the international human rights covenants acceded to by the Maldives; and the rulings were given subject to undue influence over judiciary and the prosecutor; and contrary to due process; the court finds these cases require retrials and judgments pursuant to the law and until a final verdict is reached, the court orders the immediate release of 1-Mohamed Nasheed of G. Kenereege’, 2-Mohamed Nazim of M. Seenukarankaage’, 3-Imran Abdulla of Mal’haaru, Meemu Kolhufushi, 4-Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor of H. Saamaraa, 5-Muhuthaz Muhsin of Raiymasge’ Gaafu Alifu Maamendhoo, 6- Gasim Ibrahim of M. Maafannu Villa, 7-Ahmed Faris Maumoon of Ma. Kin’bigasdhoshuge’, 8-Ahmed Nihan of Venus Gaafu Alifu Maamendhoo, 9- Hamid Ismail of M. Shuraa Manzil for the provision of investigations and prosecutions in accordance with the Constitution and the laws” (Department of Judicial Administration, Supreme Court of Maldives – The Supreme Court’s Court Order Number: 2018/SC-SJ/01, 01.02.2018).
So the Republic of Maldives and the President should accordingly to the Court Ruling review the cases of the individuals in question, who all are people that the Yameen wants to get rid off. That is why he is keeping them hostage and not respecting the law. That is why it endearing that the own press releases from the Presidency are addressing the law, but when the law isn’t apply in favor of the President. They are not abiding it themselves. That is what power does to certain people. Yameen has taken power and doesn’t want to have checks and balances. Which is the reasons for his fear of releasing former President Nasheed. That might expose certain wrong-doings of Yameen.
So with all of this meaning that MPs who was arrested are reinstated and also free. The same with the former President. If Yameen will release them and respect the court ruling. The same way they have arrested Head of IT at the Judicial Administration Imran Jawid. While also after the release of the Court Ruling they had shut down all the networks within the Judiciary in Maldives. As well as also hunting down Judiciary administrator Hassan Saeed Hussain. This all worrying reports. Not only disrespecting the Court Order, but arresting the ones who follows the codes of the law. It was the MNDF who shut down the computer systems of tAhe Judicial administration.
We know today that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement yesterday:
“The Government of the Maldives takes note of the statements issued by international organizations and friendly countries in relation to the Supreme Court ruling of 1 February 2018. The Government once again reiterates its firm commitment to respect the rulings of the Supreme Court and assures the Maldivian people and the international community that it is continuing to work with all relevant authorities to implement the Supreme Court ruling, in line with proper procedure and rule of law. The relevant state officials have sought clarification from the Chief Justice on the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling and shall carry out the ruling in accordance with rule of law and due process. As the ruling involves a number of legal and procedural issues, all concerned national authorities are currently working in unison towards compliance. The Prosecutor General will submit to the Supreme Court to clarify the identified issues” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Republic of Maldives – ‘The Government of Maldives takes note of statements issued by international partners and reiterates its commitment to implement the Supreme Court ruling’ 03.02.2018).
So that message to world was to stall for time, as the crackdown and purge continues. Even released prisoners has been taken back to prison. Therefore, the Yameen government and PPM are not planning to follow the Constitution. Only when it benefits him. That is why he used the military last year when he came into question and breached the Majlis. Yameen is doing it again.
Now it’s gone three days and the Supreme Court ruling and freeing of political prisoners is still not in sight. Because Yameen cannot risk losing his position, everything is stalling for time and waiting for a new order that fits his paradigm. As long as people are resigning, he will find loyal individuals for the positions, not eligible candidates. Since they are fleeing and leaving the roles.
We know something is wrong with the current system of power, when Attorney General Mohamed Anil have ordered the military and police not to follow the Supreme Court. That meaning the loyalty of AG Anil stands about the Constitution, because he wants to deliver to the needs of President Yameen. If that isn’t disrespectful to the people of Maldives. This now a military coup to take total control and leave all obstacle behind.
This will continue, don’t expect it to be easy for for Nasheed and not for the others behind bars. That MPs has lost their privileges and also their rights. As they are trying to vote for No Confidence. While the military are besieging the Parliament. Yameen must know that he is assaulting the key pillars of the state. Seemingly just for his own personal gain and not for reasons of upholding the rules of law. Peace.