Nasheed sees ex-dictator Gayoom’s network behind his ousterFebruary 9th, 2012 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS
Male, Feb 9 (IANS) A day after he was ousted as the Malidivian president, Mohamed Nasheed has said what happened in the country should be traced to former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s network and a result of his own vice president’s suspected role in planning the coup.
In an article, “The Dregs of Dictatorship”, in the New York Times, the former president said: “Dictatorships don’t always die when the dictator leaves office.”
According to Nasheed, the wave of revolutions that toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen last year was certainly cause for hope.
“But the people of those countries should be aware that, long after the revolutions, powerful networks of regime loyalists can remain behind and can attempt to strangle their nascent democracies.”
Nasheed said he learned this lesson quickly when: “My country, the Maldives, voted out president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, its iron-fisted ruler, back in 2008, in historic elections that swept away three decades of his authoritarian rule. And yet the dictatorship bequeathed to the infant democracy a looted treasury, a ballooning budget deficit and a rotten judiciary.”
“I was elected that year… For the first time in its history, the Maldives — a group of islands in the Indian Ocean — had a democratically elected president, parliament and local councils,” Nasheed noted.
“But it also had a judiciary handpicked by the former president, which was now hiding behind a democratic constitution. These powerful judges provided protection for the former president, his family members and political allies, many of whom are accused of corruption, embezzlement and human rights crimes.”
According to Nasheed, at the same time, new laws guaranteeing freedom of speech were abused by a new force in Maldivian politics: Islamic extremists.
“The former president’s cabinet members threw anti-Semitic and anti-Christian slurs at my government…,” Nasheed wrote, “claiming that democracy granted them and their allies licence to call for violent jihad and indulge in hate speech.”
Nasheed said his government asked the UN “to help us investigate judicial abuses and ordered the arrest of Abdulla Mohamed, the chief judge of the Criminal Court, on charges of protecting the former president and corrupting the judicial system.”
“However, in a dramatic turn of events on Tuesday, the former president’s supporters protested in the streets, and police officers and army personnel loyal to the old government mutinied and forced me, at gunpoint, to resign,” said Nasheed.
“To avoid bloodshed, I did so,” said Nasheed, “I believe this to be a coup d’etat and suspect that my vice president, who has since been sworn into office, helped to plan it.”
Nasheed wrote: “Choosing to stand up to the judge was a controversial decision, but I feel I had no choice.”
- Maldives' ex-president Gayoom returns to homeland - Mar 06, 2012
- Refused military offers of a counter-coup: Ex-Maldivian president - Apr 18, 2012
- Rights group concerned over Maldives turmoil - Feb 13, 2012
- Indian diplomats leave for Maldives as crisis deepens - Feb 10, 2012
- Ousted Maldives president coming to press for early polls - Apr 11, 2012
- Nasheed disappointed with India, says Maldives ex-foreign minister (Interview) - Feb 12, 2012
- Nasheed disappointed with India, says Maldives ex-foreign minister (Interview) (Lead) - Feb 12, 2012
- Maldives crisis deepens, India pushes for political deal (Roundup) - Feb 10, 2012
- No Indian push on unconstitutional polls: Maldivian president (Lead) - May 14, 2012
- Maldivian President Waheed to make first ever visit to India - May 10, 2012
- Maldives president quits after street protests, vice president takes over (Roundup) - Feb 07, 2012
- Maldives President Nasheed resigns after public protests, mutiny - Feb 08, 2012
- Maldives crisis festers, India pushes for political deal (Lead) - Feb 10, 2012
- Male calm as new president readies national government (Lead) - Feb 08, 2012
- Male calm a day after Nasheed quits - Feb 08, 2012
Tags: authoritarian rule, autocrats, budget deficit, cabinet members, democratic constitution, dictatorships, dregs, embezzlement, freedom of speech, human rights crimes, islamic extremists, islands in the indian ocean, local councils, loyalists, maumoon abdul gayoom, new york times, ouster, political allies, president mohamed, three decades