A senior political adviser of Maldives President Dr. Mohamed Waheed, former Attorney-General Dr. Hassan Saeed, has publicly admitted that President Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in a coup d’etat, and that Dr. Waheed assumed the Presidency following the coup, the Maldives opposition party, the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) said.
MDP Spokesperson for International Affairs Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said that officially Dr.Waheed’s regime, made up mainly of people close to the former autocratic President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and hard-line Islamic preachers, continue to deny that there was a coup.
“According to their public statements, President Nasheed stepped down voluntarily and ceded the presidency to Dr. Waheed. In reality, in the days prior to the coup, the-then Vice President Dr. Waheed had repeatedly assured opposition groups that should President Nasheed be forced out, he would step into the breach,” Ghafoor said in a statement emailed to the media.
Ghafoor claimed that last week Dr. Saeed had told a group of students in London that the removal of President Nasheed was indeed a “coup” though a “very unique” kind of coup.
The President’s Office has however since claimed that Dr. Saeed’s comments were taken out of context.
“It’s more than clear to us that this is a police and military backed coup. We must hold early elections to give back our people their right to elect a legitimate Government,” Ghafoor said.