Reference No: 11/02/2011
19 February 2012
Appointment of Gayoom’s Daughter as State Minister for Foreign Affairs Highlights Old Guard’s Control over Dr.Waheed Regime
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) says the Dr.Waheed regimes’ appointment of former President Gayoom’s daughter, Dunya Maumoon, as State Minister for Foreign Affairs highlights the control the former autocratic regime holds over Dr.Waheed.
Since assuming office on 7 February, after a police and military-backed coup ousted the Maldives’ first democratically elected government, Dr.Waheed has moved quickly to reward former president Gayoom. The MDP believes Gayoom and his allies help orchestrate the coup, with Dr.Waheed’s knowledge and connivance.
Since assuming the leader of the regime, Dr.Waheed has already appointed:
• Former President Gayoom’s lawyer, Azima Shakoor, as his Attorney General.
• Former President Gayoom’s spokesperson, Mohamed Hussain Shareef, as his Minister for Human Resources, Youth and Sports.
• Ahmed Mohamed ‘Andey’, Deputy Leader of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), as the Minister of Economic Development. He was the former CEO of the State Trading Organisation (STO) under Gayoom’s administration.
• Dr.Ahmed Shamheed as the Minister of Transport and Communication. He is a member of minority opposition Jumhooree Party (JP) and works as a Director at Villa Shipping and Trade, owned by JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim. He served in the Ministry of Planning and Development under Gayoom’s administration.
• Deputy Leader of minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Dr.Mohamed Jameel as the Home Minister. He was formerly Gayoom’s Justice Minister.
• Retired Colonel Mohamed Nazim as the Defence Minister. He is a notable supporter of Gayoom.
• Dr.Hassan Saeed, Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Leader and Gayyoom’s former Attorney General as Presidential Advisor.
• Abdulla Riyaz, Commissioner of Police, leader of JP, Qasim Ibrahim’s in-law.
“This latest appointment provides further evidence that Dr.Waheed is little more than Gayoom’s puppet Leader. Dunya’s appointment appears to be a ‘thank-you’ gesture from Dr.Waheed to Gayoom, for the latter’s help in propelling the former Vice President to the presidency,” said MDP Spokesperson for international affairs, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.
The MDP also expressed concern over the apparent foot-dragging by Dr.Waheed on his pledge to hold early elections.
“Instead of moving forward and announcing a date, Dr.Waheed is backsliding and putting up more and more barriers to prevent an election. First he claimed the Constitution might need to be changed. Now he is saying the economic developments have to be right.”
“Dr.Waheed should understand that the Maldivian people deserve and demand a legitimate Government, elected by the people. They will not tolerate a puppet regime, installed by the former dictatorship through a military coup,” added Hamid.
The MDP noted that over 10,000 people attended its rally on Friday evening, the biggest demonstration in the country’s history. The protesters denounced Dr.Waheed’s regime as “illegitimate” and called for snap elections – a key MDP demand.
“Dr.Waheed claims to be a democrat. It is time he proved his commitment to democracy by holding an election and allowing the people their right to choose their own government,” Hamid added.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs