Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has publicized a Legal Review of the Report of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) which was set up to investigate the change of former President Mohamed Nasheed's government on February 7.
The review was prepared on the request of MDP by former Sri Lankan Attorney General (AG) Shibly Aziz and lawyers working at the Sri Lankan Supreme Court; Anita Perera and Senany Dayaratne and focused on the legal aspects of the CNI Report, with a particular emphasis on the central issue as to whether the CNI strayed from its mandate and purpose, and thereby produced a report which is flawed.
The legal review prepared by the team states that the procedures had been followed by the CNI in a manner that involved several unneeded principles incorporated into its mandate.
“The Commission however, has unilaterally incorporated into its mandate, concepts such as ‘common good and public interest’, which although admirable principles, were not in any way part of the Commission’s mandate. The Commission however, has further unilaterally restricted its mandate by opining that the timely conclusion of its findings was required to ensure Maldivian people can ‘pursue political, economic and social development with general confidence.’ The Commission therefore, appears to have approached this investigation with an attitude of facilitating the country to move forward rather than determining the legality of the transition of power,” the report read.
“It is clearly borne out in its mandate that the Commission was called upon to investigate the event that occurred in the Maldives from 14th January to 8th February 2012 and the events leading to the change of Government on 7th February 2012 in order to determine whether the resignation from office of the then President Mohamed Nasheed was the result of duress and whether the change of Government on 7th February 2012 was illegal. Instead, the Commission has, without any explanation or rationale, restricted itself to consider only whether the President was physically threatened to tender his resignation and has not considered the entire context of pressures that were being exerted on the ability of the President to lawfully administer the country from 14th January to 7th February.”
MDP has stated that the review has been sent to all relevant authorities.
The party stated that the events from February 6-8 is unacceptable to the party and that the fact the Police and the Army had mutinied to change a democratically elected government without votes being cast is a challenge the budding democracy in the Maldives faced.
While a legal review on the report has now been published, the international observers who were part of the CNI were full of praise regarding the way the members of the commission had carried out their work and several countries, United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have accepted the report and have called on the political stakeholders of the country to comply with it.