A timeline of the events leading up to the transfer of power issued by the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) has revealed that former President Mohamed Nasheed during the cabinet meeting prior to his resignation on February 7, had stated that there was no option left other than to resign.
The document issued by the CNI to obtain the opinion of the public stated that the events of Nasheed’s resignation had been scheduled between 12.00 – 1.00 of the afternoon of February 7.
The timeline further claimed that Nasheed had revealed the reason behind his resignation to his cabinet. To that end, Nasheed had stressed that the situation at the time had prompted his decision to resign, document read.
“A Minister had expressed views against the resignation. Another Minister proposed to negotiate with the gathered crowd. While another Minister proposed to seek foreign assistance to resolve the flailing situation. Referring to his opinion that the crowd at the Republic Square cannot be negotiated with, President Nasheed stressed that there was no other option left other than to resign,” timeline detailed.
On the way to the press conference after the cabinet meeting, the present Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz had inquired about Nasheed’s resignation letter. To that end, Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid had also inquired about the letter, according to the CNI’s timeline.
“Nasheed had asked his cabinet secretary about the status of the resignation letter. When the cabinet secretary had informed the President that the letter had not been prepared yet, Nasheed had asked for a pen and paper. When an official letterhead of the President and a pen was presented, Nasheed had written the letter and signed it by his own hand near a podium at the conference hall,” timeline also stated.
The findings of the Commission thus far claimed that the resignation letter had been taken from dispatch to be delivered to the Parliament, by Riyaz and former Deputy Police Commissioner and now State Home Minister Mohamed Fayaz.
When the letter had been taken from dispatch, Riyaz had been asked to fill out and return the dispatch slip.
Riyaz then had gone to the Police Headquarters and handed the letter over to a Police officer to be delivered to the Parliament.
“Afterwards he had requested that the slip be returned to the President’s Office after it was signed by the Parliament. The Parliament Speaker had received the resignation letter at 1.43 that afternoon. When the Police officer had brought the slip back to the Headquarters after handing the letter over to the Speaker, the slip had been duly forwarded to the President’s office,” timeline read.
According to the timeline, en-route to the President’s office, some of the gathered crowd had smacked the back of the car Nasheed was travelling in while a cigarette had also been flicked at the car. However, military personnel had formed a cordon round the car and maintained the security of the President.
Nasheed had wished to walk to the President’s office to announce his resignation. Despite his efforts to convince military personnel that the crowd would not harm him, the military officers had objected to his request fearing for the safety of the President, the timeline claimed.
The timeline also detailed that Riyaz and present Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim had entered the army barracks on invitation by the then Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu.
Then Riyaz and Nazim had met Tholhath in the presence of former Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel, Generals and Staff Officers.
Timeline further claimed that a General had informed Nasheed that the only way to disperse the Police officers protesting at the Republic Square between 10.00 – 11.00 of the morning of February 7 was to use live rounds. But Nasheed had ordered against the use of live ammunition under any circumstances.
At the same time Nazim, Riyaz and Fayaz had arrived on the scene and urged against the use of live rounds at the protesting police officers. It is reported that the military had demanded the Police officer protesting near the gate of the army barracks be pushed back. Hence Fayaz had addressed the gathered police officers and pushed them back up to the Shaheed Hussain Adam building and vacated the area near the main gate of the army barracks, the timeline detailed.
It has also been reported that on the morning of February 7, President’s Office Chief of Staff Ahmed Mausoom had made a conference call to Nasheed who was inside the army barracks at the time.
During the conference call made in the presence of the entire cabinet, a Minister had asked from Nasheed why the Criminal Court’s Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed had not been released as per the earlier agreement. In response Nasheed said, “that also could not be done,” timeline said.
Shortly after the conference call some Ministers had left citing that the meeting cannot be continued in the absence of the President.
The events that transpired between 8.00 and 9.00 in the morning included First Lady requesting her security detail to take her and her two daughters away from Muliaage (official residence of the President) to a safe location.
During the same time the protesting police officers and members of the public gathered at the Republic Square were hurling bottles and other objects at the army barracks. In addition, chairs and other such objects had been flung inside the army barracks from the Police headquarters building.
The timeline of the CNI further stated that if any amendments to the document need to be made, to forward detailed information of the events to the Commission before June 31.
Commission further stressed that this timeline was not the report of the CNI but had been drafted to obtain the opinion of the general public.
“The information of relevant events currently being investigated by this Commission has not been included in this timeline,” the document further read.