On February 9 Maldives President Abdulla Yameen attended a ruling party event – “Don’t mess with my country, my nation, my religion” – in the capital. The rally was held during a state of emergency that was declared by him days earlier, following his refusal to implement a Supreme Court ruling that ordered the release of political prisoners including former president Mohamed Nasheed.
He has said the state of emergency was declared to investigate an alleged coup.
The following is an extract from the president’s 47-minute speech.
On the Supreme Court
From our present investigation, there is compelling evidence – conversations of people, tweets and leaked messages – which confirm that this plot was long in the making.
That night of 1 February was an attempt to bring my government down to its knees.
Whenever there was such a sorrowful event in our history, we find that it was instigated by a Maldivian traitor. When we lost many members of our party, and when they left, the rumour was that they had secured 57 votes.
There is only one motion for which the members required 57 votes and that is for the president’s impeachment. Our constitution stipulates that even where the president has been impeached by a vote at the People’s Majlis (parliament) he will not be impeached yet or dismissed from his office since he can appeal the decision.
Where do we appeal? At none other than the Supreme Court. Hence why and the real reason that the Supreme Court has been propped up in the same manner that a bride to be will be prepared for marriage. That is the attack the Supreme Court had been gearing up for.
This was the next attack. Before that, when it was not possible to win by the vote and failing to succeed in a barbaric act as in primitive societies, the attack was to get rid of me by an assassination. Nevertheless, we now see that among those to be released were the perpetrators of this crime, who are granted the presumption of innocence. The one who blew off our launch (speedboat). Why is that?
This is their motive: to make the streets more notorious and cause damage and destruction to more people. Certainly, the plotters were aware of the extent to which the streets of Malé would be agitated as a consequence of any such release.
I would like to say, with the information I have and considering the police investigation and all other facts the most ordinary citizen will also believe, what was plotted was an evil coup backed by very honourable and dignified people. That is the reality of it and hence I think this was an ‘honourable’ princely coup plotted against our country.
These days, all that is left to do is to physically tackle this chaos. Some people are always out on the street to disrupt. Our history and vision are being tarnished in the international arena. All we see from the streets are unpleasant conduct. We are the cleaners. When somebody shits, we clean it up. Look at the task ahead of us relating to the events that took place, due to the involvement of the Supreme Court chief judge and next in line Ali Hameed, in this honourable princely coup. It is difficult for us to imagine what a dangerous event this was.
On International Pressure
Maldivian citizens should think of how many nations united in their calls for the enforcement of the Supreme Court order and pressed upon the government that this was an order of the apex court, pointing out that it should therefore be enforced, even at its initial stages. What was happening? It is not possible to challenge the decisions of the Supreme Court, it is not easy for us to continuously justify to the international community or other nations the reasons the government challenged this decision and refrained from enforcing this decision.
The international community does not want to look at the basis of the decision or the reasons for the government’s inability to implement this as they do not comprehend that Supreme Courts of those countries could ever commit such a hideous act.
As such, if it was their nation, they would have enforced the decision of the Supreme Court. Accordingly, in such circumstances, their first impression of the non-implementation by the government of the Supreme Court order would be to view us as a pariah and stubborn government. That is the reason our government was labelled as a rogue state and President Yameen as someone who defied the entire world.
However, when the government concluded its investigation into the matter and now that the international community has also reached their conclusions on recent affairs, we know the story that we had to tell was ours from our perspective. Oh what a bloody good story it is. A bloody good story. When we tell our story, there will be nothing for the opposition or the international community to contest or dispute about. There were extremely loyal people who did great jihad with me in tackling this.
On Allah stopping the evil coup
No matter how much these evildoers plot and re-plot, if it does not have the support of Allah’s will, it will not succeed as Allah always ensure that righteousness and justice prevails. These are all revelations from Allah.
So while people from all walks of life, both academics and practitioners including religious scholars were involved, they forgot about such verses even though they had recited those. Perhaps they were “deaf, dumb and blind” (Sura 2:171) in order to succeed in their personal agendas with selfish motives. Allah’s will did not destine it to go as per their plot.