Point­ing Fingers

Southasia - - Briefing -

Af­ter much de­lib­er­a­tion and com­plet­ing a fact find­ing mis­sion in the Mal­dives, Sir Don McKin­non, Com­mon­wealth Spe­cial En­voy, has en­dorsed the Com­mit­tee of Na­tional In­quiry (CNI) as “im­par­tial, cred­i­ble and broadly ac­cept­able.” The new gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Wa­heed has faced heated crit­i­cism, amidst grow­ing in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence wielded by former Pres­i­dent Mo­hammed Nasheed, over the tran­si­tion of power. While Nasheed has ar­gued that he was forcibly re­moved, Wa­heed has ve­he­mently de­nied the ru­mors.

In an ef­fort to quell such ac­cu­sa­tions, Pres­i­dent Wa­heed es­tab­lished the CNI to in­ves­ti­gate the events leading up to Nasheed’s re­moval and the sub­se­quent tran­si­tion of lead­er­ship. Sir Don re­cently vis­ited the Mal­dives and held meet­ings with var­i­ous rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the gov­ern­ment as well as the Op­po­si­tion. Af­ter con­duct­ing a thor­ough ex­am­i­na­tion of the CNI, its clauses and aims, Sir Don and the Gov­ern­ment of Mal­dives reached an agree­ment to bet­ter strengthen the pow­ers of the in­quiry and ex­pand the CNI mem­ber­ship in ac­cor­dance with a se­ries of agreed cri­te­ria.

In light of threats of ex­pul­sion from the Com­mon­wealth, this move is seen as a way for the Mal­dives to re­it­er­ate its com­mit­ment to the or­ga­ni­za­tion and de­sire to fa­cil­i­tate a more com­pre­hen­sive demo­cratic process. The gov­ern­ment has in- vited Pres­i­dent Nasheed to nom­i­nate an ap­pro­pri­ate can­di­date for the Com­mis­sion who can en­gage with other par­tic­i­pants and move the process for­ward. How­ever, Nasheed’s nom­i­na­tion of can­di­dates who fail to meet the min­i­mum re­quire­ment of hold­ing an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree is seen as a re­flec­tion of his lack of se­ri­ous­ness and co­op­er­a­tion with the CNI.

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