Unofficial Translation of the
His Excellency Dr Mohamed Waheed
10 November 2013
Beloved People of the Maldives;
During the last 21 months, my highest priority was to minimize divisions within the community, and to unite the people. To try to work with people from diverse political backgrounds. It took a lot of hard work, to reach the date of elections in a peaceful manner.
The Government has made numerous decisions regarding all the legal and other matters relating to the presidential election. Every decision and every step that the government has taken, was made after careful consideration and in the way that was the best interest of the nation and its people; after reflecting on all national interests. Because of these decisions, we have been able to move forward with everyone, without leaving anybody out. Even at a slow pace, we have been able to continue moving forward. Even at times of uncertainty, not a single step was taken backwards.
I have put in maximum effort to protect the rights of all candidates and the people, and to carry out the electoral process peacefully. That is because the most important national interest right now is to hold an all-inclusive and credible election. If an election was held of which some of us were excluded from, or was questioned by some citizens, or was one that would force some people out on the streets; chances of the country being led in to conflict was more, and the chances of a stable future less.
The current presidential term will expire at 12 am tonight. The Constitution is silent on a way forward; hence to avoid a constitutional void, I submitted the issue to Parliament to get a constitutional solution.
However, since the Parliament had decided not to amend the Constitution, but passed a resolution, which was challenged and ruled as not in accordance with the Constitution by the highest Court of law. My reason to submit the issue to Parliament was because I believe that adequate solutions for such problems can only be achieved through consensus. It is for this reason that the Constitutional amendments are only possible with specific majorities.
I also tried finding a solution by discussing with all the candidates. However, till now there has been no desirable solution, and we find ourselves in a situation where the Supreme Court has now ruled that the current government would continue its term, to prevent the country from falling into a constitutional void. They have also ruled that there is no alternative solution provided for in the Constitution of the Maldives.
Today, as the leader of this country, my duty is to protect the most important national interests. A large number of Maldivians, and the international community, are calling for my resignation, and to temporarily hand over all powers of the State to the Speaker of the Parliament.
On the other hand, a much larger number of the citizens are requesting me not to leave the country in a vacuum but to remain till the elections; to carry on, in service to the country. None of this would be easy for any of us, nor the country. Either way, the next days would be very challenging.
So, after extensive discussions, and after trying relentlessly during the last 21 months, to maintain peace and stability, and to hold elections; and since the Elections Commission has decided to hold the second round of voting on November 16, I have decided to continue to take on the responsibilities as President of the Maldives until the 16th of November. However, I will not remain in office after the 16th of November. I have made this decision considering all respective parties’ assurance to hold election on that day.
You are closest to my heart. This is the land that I love. I sincerely pray that our beloved nation is eternally protected by Allah. May Allah Almighty’s eternal blessings be upon you beloved people.