President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has stressed that there were no plans to transfer the Chair of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) set up to probe the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power on February 7, Ismail Shafeeu from the Commission.
Speaking to reporters prior to departing to participate in Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee celebrations, President Waheed detailed that Shafeeu is the ideal person to be placed in such commissions.
“That’s why his integrity and impartiality can only be questioned after scrutinizing his work. But nobody had taken the time to do so. I don’t believe that making claims without assessing his work is in the best interest of this process,” President added.
Contrary to President’s statement, his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed had stated that it does not seem that the other two members of the CNI Dr Ibrahim Yasir and Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef are outside the criteria, but claimed that due to the concerns raised by some over Islamil Shafeeu, he would leave the CNI by May 31.
In addition, Nasheed had said that he Moderator of the All Party Roadmap Talks Ahmed Mujthaba would replace Shafeeu in the CNI.
President Waheed further reiterated that the government agreed to recompose the CNI and continue its work as per the request of the Commonwealth. Henceforth, no party including the Commonwealth can now question the CNI, he added.
The government has accepted the last nomination made by Nasheed as his representative to the CNI. The nomination which had been made on the last day of the deadline given for the former President had not yet been disclosed thus far.
When asked of the identity of the nominee, President Waheed claimed that there still were some objections to revealing the nomination made by his predecessor.
President detailed that the government had decided against disclosing the identity of the nominee, as the earlier nomination made by Nasheed had been withdrawn after the government had accepted it.
He said that issued had arisen as opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had not held discussions with Nasheed’s nominee Mariyam Manaal Shihab, who is the daughter of former Finance Minister of the previous administration Mohamed Shihab.
“So this time we have not officially disclosed the nominee as similar issues might surface,” President said.
Waheed further said though there were certain reservations about the nominee, he believed that the person was “good enough.”
He also expressed hope that the CNI would be able to function efficiently with the addition of Nasheed’s representative.
In response to a query about the reservations the government had with Nasheed’s nominee, Waheed claimed that the person had made certain remarks in relation to the change in government.
However, he stressed that the government would strive to move past such reservations.
“We have no intention of rejecting that person because we want to move forward with this process,” President said.
Nasheed’s last minute nomination to the CNI has been forwarded to the Commonwealth following the government’s approval yesterday.
It is believed that the Commonwealth’s response would be received today, President Waheed added.