Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has stressed that no matter what the findings of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) set up to probe the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power on February 7 may be, he would not accept that the government had changed through a "coup d'etat."
Speaking during a press conference held at the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) office after providing information to the CNI in relation to the accusations of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Gayoom detailed that he had responded to all the queries of the Commission.
He added that he had presented himself to the Commission upon a request by the CNI.
In response to a question from Haveeru whether he would accept the verdict of the CNI on the transfer of power, Gayoom said “I know it wasn’t a coup.” Hence his belief is that the government had not changed through a coup.
“I saw even if I was in Malaysia from the video recording of former President Mohamed Nasheed announcing his decision to step down. I’m resigning because the country might face more despair if I remain as the president. Also he wrote the letter of resignation by his own hand and sent it to the Parliament,” Gayoom said.
Gayoom said that there were no grounds to “claim it was a coup” after signing and forwarding the letter of resignation to the Parliament in accordance with the constitution.
“I made that point to the members of the Commission. I think they will also believe that. Then I told them that Mohamed Nasheed had made his statement and gone home and slept. It was only the following evening he decided to come out and claim that he had not resigned and it wasn’t a permanent resignation. So how can anyone believe that it was a coup? Something happened after 42 hours. Some people had persuaded him to change his mind. Before that he had admitted and accepted that he had in fact resigned,” he detailed.
Detailing the information given to the Commission with the media, Gayoom expressed his discontent over two issues he had noted of the commission. One of which he said was the inclusion of a member representing Nasheed.
“The reason I’m unhappy with the commission is that if it includes a representative of Nasheed, it should also include a representative of mine. It’s because Nasheed had made false accusations against me both locally and internationally. He had repeatedly claimed in Maldives and abroad that I was the mastermind behind the revolution. Hence if there is someone who supports his claims within the commission where is the justice in that?” he asked.
He also stated that it would only be fair if the commission would include a member representing him if the commission has a member representing Nasheed.
Gayoom stated that the second reason why he is discontent with the commission is because it is investigating the events from January 14 to February 8. He explained that the changes witnessed on February 7 occurred due to the public hatred created over the anti-Islamic, unlawful and illegal activities carried out by Nasheed prior to January 14. Gayoom stressed that the true picture would only be revealed if the probe includes the period since Nasheed assumed the presidency.
The former President revealed that he had responded to the CNI’s question of whether he had financed the coup by stressing that “I had not spent one cent.”
He also said that he had denied having met the then Vice President and current President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik in Sonevafushi resort prior to the regime change, when asked by the Commission.
Gayoom said that his successor must now accept that he had played no part in the change in government.
Commission had also asked Gayoom’s opinion on a way to resolve the ongoing political standoff in the country, to which he had said that stability can only be attained if MDP ceases its acts of violence. According to Gayoom, he had also informed the CNI that a resolution could be sought through dialogue once MDP ends its efforts to create unrest.