1 March 2012
Mass Protests Against Dr. Waheed as He Attempts to Give the Presidential Address
Over ten thousand protestors have taken to the streets of Malé to protest the State Opening of Parliament by Dr. Mohamed Waheed, the head of the new coup-sponsored regime. Given that Dr. Waheed’s legitimacy as president is in serious question, Members of Parliament belonging to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) continue to prevent him from delivering the Address.
The Address was scheduled to be delivered at 10.00 hours this morning at the Peoples Majlis. Dr. Waheed has been prevented from doing so due to the protests both on the streets and within the chamber. The numbers of people participating in these peaceful demonstrations show the overwhelming scale of public sentiment against Dr. Waheed and the illegitimate nature in which he assumed office, following a coup that overthrew the Maldives’ first democratically elected government on 7 February 2012.
The MDP has been continuously advocating for early elections in meetings with stakeholders and for the regime to announce a date for the elections. The MDP would also like to note that the importance of early elections have been emphasized by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in their statement of 22 February 2012 as well as the Government of India during the recent visit of Mr Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary of India. While the talks have so far failed to yield any kind of consensus, the MDP has not abandoned hope in them but would continue to apply pressure on the regime through peaceful direct action – a course of action that is guaranteed to all citizens under the Constitution. The MDP Parliamentary Group took the decision to prevent Dr. Waheed from delivering his address due to the indications that he refuses to yield his illegitimate grip on power, and seems intent on disenfranchising the Maldivian people of their right to elect their President.
“We will continue to hold to our position and it is imperative that an election takes place as soon as possible to resolve this political deadlock and bring back the democratic order” said Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, MDP spokesperson for international affairs.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affair