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Mohamed Nasheed (Anni)
from the Maldives Culture archives 1999-2005
scroll down, or use links below for articles

Mohamed Nasheed - Amnesty International report - 1996

Mohamed Nasheed sentenced without a trial to 2 years and 6 months banishment - 2001

High-level conspiracy keeps Mohamed Nasheed in exile - April 2002

Letter to all Diplomats - May 2004

MDP Launches Blistering Attack on Gayoom and DRP - June 2005

No Fair Trial for Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) Under Present Conditions – Sir Ivan Lawrence Report - October 2005

Letter from Mohamed Nasheed's wife, Laila Ali, to Police Commissioner Adam Zahir complaining about beating of her husband - October 2005

Anni Mocks DRP's 'Naked Relic' - December 2005

Mohamed Nasheed - Amnesty International report 1996

Mohammed Nasheed, a freelance journalist, and an assistant editor of the newspaper, Sangu - which is now banned - was sentenced to two years' imprisonment by a court in Malé on 3 April 1996.

He was reportedly tried under section 38-B of the country's penal code for comments he made about the 1994 general elections and the 1993 presidential elections in an article entitled: 'Maldives Elections: Country faces most closely-fought polls ever', published in a magazine in the Philippines.

He was arrested on 30 November 1994 on his return to the country from Nepal where he had attended a conference and was detained for eight days. He was then formally charged and released. Hearings in his case stopped in May 1995.

The authorities imposed restrictions on his movement but the court sentence was not announced. His passport was confiscated by the authorities and he was not allowed to leave Maldives. He was arrested again on 27 February 1995, apparently on charges of contempt of court after he had refused to leave the court premises unless the judge issued him with a passport to leave the country for a short trip abroad.

He was reportedly sent to Dhoonidhoo detention centre for a short while. On 3 April 1996, he was summoned to the court and was informed of his sentence. He was taken into custody and then to Gaamadhoo Prison where he is currently held.

Mohamed Nasheed has been arrested several times before.

He was arrested on 24 November 1990 after he had written an article on corruption in government which was published in Sangu and a Sri Lankan newspaper.

He was taken to Dhoonidhoo detention centre, which is on an island a short distance from Malé. He was held in solitary confinement for 18 months there, and was finally sentenced on 8 April 1992 to over three years' imprisonment for withholding information about an alleged conspiracy to explode a device at the SAARC conference - a charge he denied.

In addition, he was sentenced to four months for talking to unauthorised people while under house arrest; and six months for endangering the peace and stability of the country. It is believed that these latter two convictions related to interviews he gave to foreign journalists during which he criticized the government.

He appealed against his sentence but in May 1993 the High Court rejected his appeal. He was, however, released from the prison in Gamadhoo Island in June that year.

After his release, he continued to report on press freedom and political developments in the Maldives. In October 1994, he and another man, Mohamed Latheef, applied to the Home Ministry for authorisation to form a political party. The government turned down their application reportedly stating that because the Constitution does not allow for political parties, permission cannot be granted.

Mohammed Nasheed's recent trial did not conform to the international standards for a fair trial. Although he had access to a lawyer, he was reportedly denied the right to be represented by him in the court. The court reportedly issued a notice to him in December 1994 stating that "because of the nature of the case, use of a lawyer in court was not to be granted yet".

Mohamed Nasheed sentenced without a trial to 2 years and 6 months banishment
Report from Male, Maldives
November 2001

Mohamed Nashed Anni 1996

At 11.30 am local time on 8 November 2001, Mohamed Nasheed, the member of the Majlis for Malé, was charged by the government with the theft of some items from a state-owned property (former President Ibrahim Nasir's private residence, called 'Velaanaage'). He was summarily sentenced soon after the charges were made, without any due process of law.

While he was sentenced for two and a half years for an alleged theft that never took place, none of those who also removed items from Velaanaage were arrested or charged by the authorities.

Nasheed was taken from a holding cell located at the National Security Service quarters to a so-called civil court (Jinaai court) under police guard. He was formally charged at 11.30 am and the judge, without allowing due course of a trial, sentenced Nasheed to be banished for 2 years and 6 months. This sentence was read out around 1.30 p.m. The whole process was over in about two and half hours.

Mohamed Nasheed had never admitted to the charges of theft, and the judge denied him his legal rights to present his case or respond to the charges made against him.

The police unlawfully arrested Mohamed Nasheed on the night of 8 October. His personal computer was also removed to the police station during this arrest. He was kept in solitary confinement and questioned. No official sources made this arrest public. However, a government-controlled daily ('Haveeru') carried a news item alleging that Nasheed had stolen several items the Velaanaage property.

This property had been taken over by the government and preparations were under way to auction an undisclosed number of items. When Nasheed, accompanied by a friend, visited the premises of Velaanaage, several others were also there. Some were officials moving the items to be transferred to the auction site.

Umar Zahir, the Minister for Construction was also present inside the compound. Some others were just curious members of the public. This was in broad daylight. The items that Nasheed picked from the jumble of goods were ordinary bric-a-brac. They were also items of historical value.

Apart from being a popular member of parliament, Mohamed Nasheed is also a writer and an avid fan of Maldivian history. At the time of his arrest, he was doing research for a book on the constitutional history of Maldives.

According to most observers, Mohamed Nasheed's arrest was unlawful. His one-month detention by the police was conducted against all manners of justice.

Local observers have pronounced this incident as a government-orchestrated frame up in order to get rid of Mohamed Nasheed. A bi-election is expected shortly, when a heavily choreographed event would result in the election of a pro-government candidate to fill Nasheed's chair as Malé member.

His supporters and family believe that the government must release Mohamed Nasheed without further delays and also that his release must be unconditional, as he has not committed any crime. In a country where there is no social justice, this belief can only remain a wish.

Government restrictions on local politics mean there is no room for the free expression of opinions or thoughts. This gives the government free reign to conduct their authoritarian rule that totally and effectively rejects universal values such as basic human rights.

In the shadow of the September 11th attack on America, the Maldivian government is eliminating all dissent and all probable opponents of their rule. While the international community is engaged in resolving the biggest disaster in history, President Gayoom and his cronies are covering up their acts of terror and placing themselves more securely in control of a subservient island community.

High-level conspiracy keeps Mohamed Nasheed in exile
Maldives Culture special report
April 2002

Many top Maldivian politicians and bureaucrats were eyewitnesses to the events which led to the recent imprisonment and exile of Mohamed Nasheed, a popular elected Male member of the Majlis.

auction at velanage, male, maldives 7 october 2001
Auction at Velanage, ex-President Nasir's house.
7 October 2001
Photo: Haveeru

In October 2001, Mohamed Nasheed attended the auction of a house belonging to former President Ibrahim Nasir. Accompanying Nasheed were the Minister for Construction and Public Works Umar Zahir and his assistant director Ibrahim Fayaz. In the same group were the Minister for Women's Affairs Rashida Yusuf, her deputy Aneesa Ahamed and the Majlis member for Lhaviyani atoll Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Other senior bureaucrats were also present.

They laughed and joked as Nasheed pulled scraps of discarded paper from the dust and rubble of the partially demolished house. Minister Rashida Yusuf was delighted when she recognised former President Nasir's children's schoolwork that had been marked by her when she had been his teacher many years ago.

These papers were collected by Nasheed who later packed and labelled them for donation to the National Council of Linguistic and Historical Research. It was at this point that Nasheed was arrested and held in solitary confinement for a month before being charged and found guilty of theft, and then sentenced to two and a half years exile in Raa atoll, away from his family and children who live in Male.

velanage house under demolition
Velanage under demolition
7 October 2001
Photo: Haveeru

In 2001, Mohamed Nasheed had attempted to implement political reforms such as the introduction of a party system and procedures for ministerial accountability to the Majlis. Many members of the Maldivian elite and their supporters justify the present autocratic situation by arguing it is a necessary precondition for economic prosperity.

The removal of Mohamed Nasheed is not the first time President Gayoom has acted against popular Male Majlis members. In the 1990s, Dr. Mohamed Waheed who now works in the US for UNICEF, and Ahmed Mujuthaba, a prominent Maldivian businessman in the tourism sector, found themselves in orchestrated difficulties when they began to rival Gayoom in popularity.

It is little wonder that next month's Male byelection, prompted by Mohamed Nasheed's loss of his seat due to his imprisonment, conviction and exile, is being conducted in an atmosphere of barely suppressed cynicism and indignation among large sections of the Male electorate.

In March 2002, Mohamed Nasheed's appeal against his sentence was rejected. Lawyers who have examined the case can see grave flaws in the judgment.

In the opinion of these lawyers, the lower Maldives court 'erred in reaching the view that Nasheed's actions constituted 'theft' as defined in section 149 of the Maldives Penal Code.'

In their view, the arguments submitted on appeal were 'legally sound and sustainable'. The lawyers believe the points raised by Nasheed in his appeal create sufficient doubt to quash his conviction under section 149. 'In a criminal trial,' they said, 'the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the alleged offence was committed. That is the minimum requirement of 'guilt' in a criminal case. The prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Nasheed was guilty of theft. If he is not guilty then he cannot be prosecuted.'

They pointed out that Article 16 of the Maldives Constitution says that 'every person shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Hence the conviction should be quashed and Nasheed's name should be cleared.'

Events like these, combined with the campaign by the National Security Service against the people at the forefront of a peaceful campaign for party democracy and ministerial accountability, are major reasons for the Male electorate's disenchantment with their country's political process.

Such sentiments are reinforced by President Gayoom's constant demand for public praise and honours. The irony of his speech was not lost on his audience when he spoke at a recent graduation ceremony held at the Islamic Centre for Male's Shariah and Law Diploma course:
'Those serving in the legal profession should be exemplary in their conduct and character,' he said. 'Professionals were entrusted with dispensing justice and protecting the rights of the people, they were indeed providing an important national service. Even though the provision of legal services was remunerative, those working in the field must rate as their foremost goal the safeguarding of the rights of the people and the upholding of the rule of law, rather than pecuniary gain.'

In an attempt to counter the cynicism that his own actions have generated, the President has also been making public appeals to Islamic unity and nationalism. During the last month, the President's Office staff have been promulgating news of Gayoom delivering a banal speech at Azhar university in Cairo and then receiving awards and acclaim from his Egyptian hosts. The President then arrived back in Male to attend the celebrations of an elite boys' high school jubilee celebration. Once again his speeches used the themes of Islam and Maldivian nationalism under threat from unnamed forces, this time with an added component of nostalgia for the old school days.

For many Maldivians, these weary formulas are only reinforcing the perception that he is a leader out of touch with his people. Young people in Male are now a large majority of the population, much like the situation in the West in the 1960s and 1970s. They find their inspiration in Indian and particularly Western mass-marketed culture. Gayoom's staid but hypocritical performances attract politely bored audiences, and for Male's youth, real emotion and dreams of the future are to be found elsewhere.

Letter to all Diplomats
Mohamed Nasheed
May 2004
graphic added by Maldives Culture

Moir cartoon, modified for Maldives majlis
Instructions for Majlis members from the President
modified from cartoon by Moir, Sydney Morning Herald

The Maldivian Democratic Party is a political party functioning in exile, with most of its elected council members on the run, dodging and hiding from the brutal dictatorship of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has been the president of Maldives for the last 27 years.

In 2001, members of parliament, a former cabinet minister, leading businessmen, academics, feminists and popular sports stars came together to form a political party - the Maldivian Democratic Party.

Their inquiries to the relevant government authorities had revealed that the registration would be merely an administrative formality. However, President Gayoom determined otherwise.

With blatant disregard of the constitution, Gayoom refused to register the party, and compounded this illegal act by endorsing it in his rubber stamp parliament.

MDP members have no alternative than to operate outside Maldives if they wish to exercise their fundamental right of freedom of association. The MDP was formally created on 10 November 2003 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. On 8 January this year the United Kingdom High Commissioner accredited to the Maldives and residing in Colombo, officially met MDP members – an action which recognised the party as a political entity.

Membership of the party is open to all Maldivians, and people can join by using the party website. During the very first few days of the site's launch, the party received more than 250 requests for membership. The government then banned the web site and it is now more difficult for Maldivians to become members. On the 13th February 2004, the party held its first council elections through the Internet and SMS. This was a major step forward, but Gayoom ordered a major wave of arrests soon after the election. Most elected MDP council members residing in the Maldives were taken in, and the MDP office in Colombo was harassed.

As a response the party has established its International Secretariat in London, and would like to communicate with your offices regarding the situation in the Maldives.

We believe that you will be aware of the fact of the uprising and civil disturbances of September 2003. Since then, Gayoom's ways and methods are more exposed to the international community. In his effort to wiggle out of this exposure, Gayoom, as he has done in the past when confronted with calls for change, has been setting up cosmetic commissions and paying lip service to democratic and legal reform.

Senior Ministers of the regime has been informing foreign diplomats and the international media that the question of legitimising the MDP depends on the constitutional reform process that is underway.

During the 1990 Special Majlis committee convened to draft the existing constitution, the present MDP spokesman Mohamed Latheef probably worked harder than anyone else. About ten of the fifteen or so committee members were Gayoom's cabinet members. Latheef concentrated on one issue – the separation of powers.

In the last committee meeting he attended, Latheef persuaded most of them that separation of powers was not incompatible with Islam – the skirt Gayoom and his supporters like to hide behind. Within a month, Latheef was in solitary confinement.

Gayoom's tailor-made constitution makes him legally the head of the judiciary, the religious head, the controller of the legislature in addition to being the chief executive. This means that the President of Maldives has more power vested in him than in any other head of state including Saddam's Iraq, Libya, Cuba, North Korea or even in kingdoms like Bhutan or Saudi Arabia.

Gayoom is also the Defense Minister, the Commander-in-Chief of the NSS and the Minister of Finance.

In 1995, the late Mohamed Latheef (no relation to MDP spokesman Latheef), who had been a prime-ministerial hopeful of the 1950s and a cousin to the former prime minister Famuladeyri Kilegefaanu, and this writer applied to register a political party.

In response to this, Gayoom wrote back to us, saying that it would be a timely consideration when the new constitution (the present constitution ratified in 1997) comes into effect. Soon afterwards, he arrested Latheef and many of his close associates, all of them respected elders of Maldivian society. Among them were an historian, the late Hassan Ahamed Manik who then held the Chair for Male Municipality, Ahamed Shafeeq who has held nearly all Maldives government positions at some time, apart from the office of head of state, and writer Ali Moosa Didi who is the father of Lt. Col. Moosa Jaleel.

I mention the profiles of these people so you will understand the extent of Gayoom's efforts to resist the idea of meaningful democratic change. Of course, he arrested me as well.

After seventeen years of Gayoom dragging his feet, the new constitution was finally ratified in 2000. The president's own nephew, who studied law in the UK and is one of the leading lawyers in the country, said to the Washington Post that the new constitution was a document more draconian than the earlier 1968 constitution it had replaced.

The 1997 constitution did grant freedom of political association, which was also a feature of the constitution it replaced . After being elected to parliament as MP for Male', this writer and 41 others including four members of parliament, requested registration of the party in 2001.

Now again, Gayoom is saying that he has to amend the constitution before allowing political pluralism. Haven't we been here before?

The issue of the registration of MDP is not a constitutional issue, and therefore its registration is only an administrative task. This is one stipulation that we have always maintained, and I believe that most Maldivians will back us on this. The present Human Rights commissioner is one of the signatories to the request. He cannot, and I believe will not, now turn around and say that the request is unfounded. We believe that legislation for a registration process is available in the present Maldivian legal frame work.

The constitutional amendment procedure is being initiated by a decree of the President. This decree has not given the scope of the proposed amendments. Even if Presidential utterances are to be taken as decree, his only indication of the scope of the constitutional amendment has been his words to the effect that 'a new framework of governance is required.' Gayoom has not elaborated on the statement, and the state controlled TV, radio and print media remain silent on this issue.

Meanwhile, the government is conducting a relentless campaign to discredit the idea of pluralistic democracy, saying that it is un-Islamic and goes against the grains of Maldivian nationalism, and all the rest of it. We have no means to reach the voters other than through clandestine meetings. The MDP website is still banned, as well as all the other sites critical of the government. The MDP newsletter is government-declared subversive material. The home minister has announced that it is illegal to be a member of the party or conduct any party activity.

We therefore seriously doubt if there will be any amendments that may dilute Gayoom's hegemony. As such, it is tough to get excited about the hype surrounding constitutional reform. This is Gayoom's ruse to buy time and placate the international community who now seem to be taking our cry for reform more seriously. Gayoom will make cosmetic changes, and try harder to hide the strings he attaches to any 'reform' he initiates.

The MDP believes that the amendment of the constitution is not a natural first point of any meaningful reform program. We feel that the government should act now and legitimise the party, instead of continuing to play a delaying and deceptive game.

We hope that the above points will assist you in your deliberations on the Maldives.

MDP Launches Blistering Attack on Gayoom and DRP
Minivan News
21 June 2005

mohamed nasheed, maldives anni 2005
Mohamed Nasheed (Anni)

The Chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) launched a blistering attack on President Gayoom and his government yesterday at an MDP rally in Male, sources have said.

Speaking at a rally in the MDP's main assembly hall in the capital, Nasheed responded to questions about what MDP would do for them by saying removing Maumoon Abdul Gayoom from power would be one of the most important contributions of the party.

'The most important services MDP will afford to the public will be to remove Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, legally from the leadership,' Nasheed said.

Nasheed was further questioned regarding the talk by some people that the MDP does not have people of solid, respectable status.

To this, Nasheed responded in a fashion similar to that of Mark Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:
'MDP does not have a respectable figure who swindles money obtained through the harsh, day and night labour of Maldivian fishermen. MDP does not have a respectable figure who says torture and death of Maldivians is the punishment for crimes. MDP does not have a respectable figure that sliced into bits the prosperity of the state by sharing it amongst relatives and friends. MDP does not have a respectable figure that plans the difficult policy by which catches of fish have to be thrown back into the sea because there is no way to weigh the fish. And this party does not have a respectable figure who after doing all these things will sit upon a throne of gold mounted upon expensive palaces and yachts,' Nasheed said.

'The aim of this party does not include creation of respectable figures,' he said.

'It does not aim to throw Maldivians down to the level of worshiping human beings. We want to compose a governing system which will increase public participation. This party will not rise up and form based around a single person. This is a party of the people in the most comprehensive meaning of the phrase,' Nasheed further stated.

The speech appears to mark a new front in the MDP's attacks on Gayoom's party, the DRP, by making the DRP synonymous with the President and his 27 years of one-man rule.

The DRP has not yet responded to the latest assaults by the MDP.

No Fair Trial for Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) Under Present Conditions – Sir Ivan Lawrence Report
Minivan News
26 October 2005

A team of four leading British barristers, headed by Sir Ivan Lawrence QC, has ruled that there is no prospect of a fair trial for opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) under the current judicial arrangements in the Maldives.

Anni, who is the Chairperson of the main opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), is due to go on trial tomorrow morning for 'terrorism' and 'sedition', ostensibly for anti-government remarks he made in a speech in Thoddu island in July.

mohamed nasheed being arrested on 12 august 2005

The Sir Ivan Lawrence delegation, which included three top Muslim lawyers in addition to Sir Ivan, visited Maldives in late September in order to assess whether Anni could receive a fair trial in accordance with international norms.

Their report, which was made public today, and which the government received on Monday, clearly states this is impossible under the current arrangements. It puts forward a number of recommendations that need to be immediately implemented in order to afford Anni a fair trial.

The Lawrence report outlines a range of problems with the Maldivian judiciary that 'precludes the possibility of a Fair Trial for Nasheed [Anni] and others facing similarly serious charges.' It finds that 'many basic and fundamental safeguards necessary to allow accused persons to defend themselves have not been provided. Moreover, the judiciary and legal system lacks the basic capacity, competency and necessary independence to deliver a Fair Trial.'

It points to fundamental failings in Maldivian justice, such as a lack of separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive. It also notes a number of serious problems specifically in relation to Anni's trial.

The Lawrence report notes, for example, that there has been no presumption of innocence: 'Government officials have, we were told, persistently announced on mass media that Mr. Nasheed had been charged, that he was guilty and that he would be sentenced by a court. The right to the presumption of innocence is one of the most fundamental of rights. Furthermore the requirement of fair trial and a protected right requires that judges, juries and all other public authorities refrain from prejudging any case. This means that public authorities, particularly prosecutors and police, should not make statements about the guilt or innocence of an accused before the outcome of the trial… The combination of a judiciary that is not independent from the executive and executive pronouncements of guilt give the appearance that Mr. Nasheed's trial has been prejudiced.'

The Lawrence report also notes the lack of time the defense council has had to prepare Anni's case: 'We were… astonished to hear from the Attorney-General that, although the trial of Mr. Nasheed is due to start in the next week or two, the bulk of the evidence against him has not yet been served upon him or his lawyers. There seemed to be only limited awareness of the two fundamental rules of Human Rights, set out clearly in both the United Nations and European Conventions, that a person accused of crime is entitled to know the full nature of the allegations being made against him, and must be allowed adequate time to prepare a defense. This means that he should also know in advance which potential witnesses are to be called against him. It is not enough to say that he will learn of the allegations at his trial.'

sir ivan lawrence QC

The report goes onto list numerous other reasons why Anni's trial cannot be considered fair under the current arrangements.

It highlights serious concerns about: the safeguards against pre-trial torture; the proportionality of the alleged crime and the charges; the standard and burden of proof; the duty of the government to disclose details of allegedly incriminating behaviour; the lack of adequate notice; the lack of comprehensive published rules of procedure; the proper opportunity to examine witnesses; and the freedom of the press to report the trial.

The report also raises broader systemic concerns, such as the lack of independence of the judiciary and the lack of safeguards for lawyers and raises doubts over freedom of expression, freedom of association and arbitrary arrests in Maldives.

Two key recommendations are made 'based upon suggestions made by the Attorney General of the Government of Maldives as well as the standard and frequent practices of smaller Commonwealth countries':

'Firstly, Executive decrees, a major source of national legislation in the Maldives, should be used to ensure a rapid procedural compliance with International Standards for a Fair Trial.

'Secondly, a Judge from another Commonwealth jurisdiction should preside over the trial of Mohamed Nasheed and others facing serious crimes against the State. This would rectify, in the immediate term, the current lack of judicial training and experience with International Standards as well as compensate for the structural problems of the Maldivian judiciary.'

However, the report notes that these recommendations would have to be implemented in total and 'without exception' in order to 'allow the Government of Maldives to meet its commitment to provide Mohamed Nasheed a Fair Trial in accordance with International Standards.'

The Lawrence report's findings put the government in a tight spot. The report, which has been endorsed by the international community, quite clearly shows that under the current arrangements, Anni is not going to receive a fair trial in accordance with international norms – something the government has promised the international community it will provide. The report further tells the Maldivian government precisely what steps they need to immediately take in order to grant Anni a fair trial.

As one lawyer put it: 'The government knows the current arrangements prevent Anni from receiving a fair trial. They also know exactly what they need to do to afford Anni a fair trial. The question now is merely whether they are prepared to grant their top political opponent a fair trial, and what are the implications if they are not.'

Letter from Mohamed Nasheed's wife, Laila Ali, to Police Commissioner Adam Zahir complaining about beating of her husband
Translated by Maldives Culture editors 2005
Thoiba, Maafaanu ward
31 October 2005

To: The Commissioner of Police Adam Zahir

Greetings to you.
My husband Mohamed Nasheed of Kenereege, Galolhu ward, who is in your custody, has been injured while being taken to and from court on 27 October 2005.

When I went to visit him in Dhoonidhoo jail afterwards, I saw injuries on his body.
1. I request that you conduct an inquiry to find out how a person, who was summoned before the court in the custody of the Star Force, sustained such injuries and who was responsible.
2. Further, I request you to allow my husband to undergo an independent medical examination, to find out if he has sustained permanent or long-term physical or psychological injury.

A police medical examination will not be acceptable, because I believe my husband sustained the injuries due to police negligence.
I would prefer that my husband undergo a medical check in my presence with a doctor of my choice.
I request that you arrange this.

Accept my respects,
Yours faithfully,
Laila Ali

To: Maldives Police Services, Male
Cc: Ministry of Home Affairs, Male
Human Rights Commission of Maldives, Male

Anni Mocks DRP's 'Naked Relic'
Minivan News
27 December 2005

The Chairperson of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, Mohamed Nasheed (Anni), launched a satirical attack on the President yesterday, accusing him of being a 'relic' and of no use to the ruling Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party.

maumoon gayoom relic

Speaking to Minivan News, Anni said that the only reason the DRP managed to win one of the three by-election seats on the 24th December was because the government rigged the vote. The DRP won the Shaviyani seat, with the MDP winning the Male' and Addu seats with big majorities.

'The whole Shaviyani election was a travesty of a mockery. The vote was heavily rigged… if it had been free and fair by just one inch, we would have won,' he said.

'We are not asking for total fairness in the elections, we know we will never get that under Gayoom's regime, but we are asking for a very basic level of human behaviour,' – something Anni said was missing from the DRP's Shaviyani campaign.

'[They] tampered with the ballot boxes, they stuffed the ballot boxes, they distributed cash to voters, they misused state resources… they even paraded Gayoom around the streets of Male' [to campaign for DRP]... But sadly I must say, what the people saw was his nakedness,' Anni said.

'The man is pushing eighty… he can hardly walk. It was extremely indecent of the DRP to bring the relic out.

'We hope the younger members of the DRP realize that the Ancien Régime is dead.'

This is not the first time Anni has criticised the President. In June the outspoken MDP Chairperson accused Gayoom of 'sitting upon a throne of gold mounted upon expensive palaces and yachts.'

Anni is currently under house arrest and being tried by Gayoom's government for 'terrorism'.

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