Former President Mohamed Nasheed has raised concern with the Commonwealth after his nomination to the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) established to probe the events leading up to and following the transfer of power on February 7, was revealed to the media yesterday.
A government official had revealed to the media yesterday that Nasheed had nominated Mariyam Manaal Shihab who is the daughter of former Minister in the previous administration Mohamed Shihab.
In addition to the government, Commonwealth Special Envoy to the Maldives Sir Donald McKinnon had also accepted Manaal’s nomination to the CNI, according to the official.
However, shortly after the government had made the statement, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had refuted the claims.
MDP Spokesperson Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy stressed yesterday that the claims made by the government were baseless and if Nasheed did make a nomination to CNI, the former President would duly inform the party first.
The government official further claimed that shortly after the government’s approval of Manaal to the CNI was revealed to the media, MDP had quickly withdrawn her nomination.
A statement by MDP in relation to the matter detailed that if the government approves of a nomination made by Nasheed to the CNI, it had been mutually agreed with the Commonwealth that the government would afford the opportunity to the former President to hold discussions with his nominee before it is shared with the media.
“However, as the government has violated the agreement by sharing the acceptance of Nasheed’s nominee to the CNI without prior consultation with the former President, Nasheed has today intimated disappointment and concern to the Commonwealth over the actions of the government,” MDP statement read.
MDP statement further claimed that when the government had rejected the tenth nomination to the CNI, Nasheed had been in New Zealand to participate in a meeting of the International Democratic Union.
Countering the MDP statement, government Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza claimed that the government had agreed to publicize the nomination made by Nasheed if the nominee meets the specified criteria after consultation with the Commonwealth.
To that end, both Manaal and Zubair’s nomination to the CNI had been treated in accordance with that agreement, Abbas added.
It is believed that the tenth nomination made by Nasheed had been his uncle Lieutenant Colonel Zubair Ahmed Manik of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) who had been rejected by the government on the grounds that he did not meet the education criteria as per the prior agreement with MDP.