Mr. Mohamed Nasheed has disclosed in an interview given to local newspapers that a coup will happen in Maldives before 2018.
This spectacular revelation only raised more questions. The five W’s, “what”, “who”, “where”, “when” and “why”, were left thirsty for answers.
Nevertheless, it must be sweet music to the ears of thousands of Nasheed’s supporters. Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has been going through every nook and cranny to find a way to rescue Nasheed from his jail sentence.
Recent announcement by Nasheed to compete for 2018 presidential race has renewed hope among MDP members.
During 2008 presidential elections, Nasheed faced many obstacles and legal hurdles to his candidacy. Chances of him participating in 2013 elections looked even more grim due to the pending charge of kidnapping a Chief Justice. The scenario change from defendant to presidential candidate, when Nasheed was awarded MDP presidential ticket for 2013, widely seen as a defence technique to escape the courts, put heavy international pressure on Dr. Waheed’s government to allow Nasheed to compete. So, what are his chances for 2018?
In 2018, the role change is much bigger, from a convicted kidnapper to a presidential candidate. Many in the international communities has voiced their opinion that the trail is not fair and he should be released. The question of whether the trail is fair or not is debatable but the fact that Nasheed ordered the kidnapping of a serving judge is not. In an interview given to BBC Hardtalk, Nasheed confessed to the crimes and stated if given another chance “I will do it again”.
Like all countries, the constitution of Maldives does not allow the participation of a criminal in a presidential race. Unlike the more diplomatic Dr. Waheed, the incumbent president Yameen’s no-nonsense attitude will be a hindrance for Nasheed to achieve his way. The overthrow of a legitimate government and overriding the constitution looks like the only open option.
To understand the gravity of the situation one needs to walk through the recent history of coups in Maldives.
In 1953 Nasheed’s grandfather Kerefaa Dhon Maniku attempted to assassinate the first democratic president of Maldives, President Ameen Didi.
During 1968 Nasheed’s father Kerefaa Abdul Sattar was convicted for smuggling a pistol to assassinate President Ibrahim Nasir.
As recent as 1980 Nasheed’s uncle Kerefaa Ahmed Naseem attempted a coup against President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.
The last and bloodiest coup attempt was in 1988, with the help of Nasheed’s in-law Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku, another failed coup was attempted against Maumoon, in which 19 innocent Maldivians were slaughtered.
Nasheed has a family history of coups and makes one wonder whether it is hereditary.
Time-lapse of newspaper clippings of Nasheed’s interviews shows his evolution from a person who does not want the presidency, to informing the media that he is the only MDP candidate, to advising the opposition political parties that the best option is having one opposition candidate and later dictating that he is the only opposition candidate – spawns a picture of someone with a pervert lust for power.
Nasheed claims in the interview that “before 2018 I will get foreign influence to change the government of Maldives. I am also negotiating with India on this”.
Going back to 1988, the coup attempt was by a group of Maldivians led and assisted by armed mercenaries of a Tamil secessionist organisation from Sri Lanka, the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), to overthrow the legitimate government of Maldives. President Gayoom, which the mercenaries failed to capture, asked for military intervention from India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi immediately dispatched 1,600 troops by air, which helped in failing the coup attempt and capturing the terrorists.
Again, on 7th February 2012, President Nasheed initially requested India to send Indian troops to silence demonstrators calling for his resignation. Indian press reported that Indian officials believed the situation in Maldives was a domestic one and India will not intervene in domestic affairs of a foreign country. After his decision to resign, according to Indian officials, India through discussions with Nasheed, helped to facilitate the transition of power. India was the first country to recognize the new Maldivian government.
Later the CONI (Commission of National Inquiry) report conduct with the support of United Nations and Commonwealth revealed that Nasheed resigned on his own free will. Incredible India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was spot on in making the correct decision.
Will the current Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi be willing to send troops to overthrow a legitimate foreign government? Which countries will be helping Nasheed to bomb Maldives? Will there be only drone attacks or foreign troops send to Maldives? Will Maldives become another Iraq or Syria?
Tomorrow is unimaginable as quoted by president Nasheed “When my party member pesters me for something I will grant that request. But if another party member pesters me, my evilness will be clearly seen. I can do many things with my left hand and right hand. Never think, and none of you can even imagine, the things I will do or not”