Maldives becomes a police state
As the dust settles on the events that lead to the resignation of the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Maldives has become a police state.
Dr. Waheed, was sworn in soon after, as the 5th president of the Maldives - as stipulated by the Maldives constitution.
President Waheed, in his first press conference, promised to uphold the constitution and the laws of the country. He promised that he will not issue any unconstitutional or illegal orders.
Knowing President Waheed’s past, we know him to be a democratic leader.
Educated in Stanford University, Dr. Waheed is also a former United Nations administrator who was in charge of the UNICEF arm in Afganistan after the war. With his experience, Maldivians should be comforted knowing that the country is possibly in the best hands if its not President Nasheed.
But President Waheed can only be an effective president if he only has control of the institutions that enable an executive to run the country.
Of these institutions, the security forces are of the most important. The executive should have absolute control over the Maldives Police Service (MPS) and the army, Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).
Now consider the events that unfolded today;
The MDP came out to protest against the police mutiny that forced the hand of President Nasheed to resign yesterday. But what we saw was the police and the military brutally crack down on the protesters, seriously injuring key opposition figures.
So who gave the order? President Waheed, only 24 hours ago, promised that he will not issue any illegal orders.
President Nasheed is entitled for protection as a former president as per the constitution. The executive has to ensure that.
Instead what we saw was president Nasheed brutally beaten requiring hospitalization at todays protest. Also among the injured was MDP chairperson Moosa “Reeko” Manik and former chairperson of MDP and winner of US International Women of Courage Ward (2007) Mariya Ahmed Didi. There were many more who were seriously injured.
So if President Waheed did not give the order, then we can safely assume that the security forces were acting on their own. What this means is that we have incidentally slipped into a military/police dictatorship where the executive is there only in name only.
Maldives has become a police state.
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Nasheed with MDP supporters at today’s protest, just before the brutal crackdown.
The police and the army are saying few people - How is this a few people? Thousands protested today.
Reeko Moosa Manik, the chair of the MDP, was also admitted to hospital with head and back injuries after being beaten by police
Mobile phone picture of former MDP Chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi being attacked by the police in today’s protests.
MDP member and deputy mayor of Male’ City, Mr. Samah Rasheed carried by other protesters after being seriously beaten by the police.
Maldives Police Service personnel chasing and hunting for MDP members through the streets of Male’ today.
Protesters being treated after the brutal crackdown by the police and the army.
Moments before police burned down MDP headquarters today.