20 June 2012, Male’; The Government of Maldives has today welcomed the decision of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to support the measures taken by the Government to strengthen the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) established to investigate the events surrounding the transfer of power on 7 February 2012.
The CMAG held a meeting earlier today to discuss the measures taken by the Government of Maldives to allay its concerns regarding the constitution and terms of reference of the previous CoNI. The CMAG noted with approval that six-days of discussions between the Government, Sir Donald McKinnon, Special Envoy of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, and former President Nasheed resulted in an undertaking signed on the 15 May 2012, which set out specific measures to strengthen the CoNI by changing its composition, its terms of reference, and its working procedures. Indeed, the CMAG welcomed the news that in accordance with the undertaking of 15 May, President Waheed’s Presidential Decree of 17 June 2012 officially appointed respected Singaporean judge, Justice Selvam, as Co-Chair and former President Nasheed’s nominee, Mr Ahmed Saeed as a member of the CoNI; and amended the CoNI’s terms of reference. Finally, CMAG expressed its support for the strengthened CoNI, and recognised the flexibility and good faith shown by the Government of Maldives throughout the process.
Referring to the decision, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah welcomed the support of CMAG for the strengthened CoNI, and expressed his hopes for the Commission’s work:
“Since the Commission have now been accepted by all parties concerned including the CMAG as impartial and independent, I hope that its outcomes and findings will be accepted by all parties so that Maldives can move forward on the democratic path.
Furthermore, I hope that the MDP will not seek to undermine this process, and that all stakeholders will put their full support behind the Commission. Only through an uncompromising adherence to the Constitution and a dedication to the maintenance of the rule of law can we guarantee democracy in our country. It is for these very reasons that the CoNI was established, and it is my hope that their important work continues unhindered.”
The Commission of National Inquiry was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power following the resignation of former President Nasheed on 7 February 2012. The Commission is due to submit its final report on 31 July 2012.