President Mohamed Waheed has said the twenty-one months as the President are the most valuable experience in his life, and thanked the people of the Maldives for giving that opportunity to him. The President made this remark today, in a televised statement to the public.
“The opportunity to serve this country was a special pleasure. The past 21 months as the President is the most valued experience in my life. While those days were hard and stressful, I served with pleasure. I thank the beloved citizens for giving me that opportunity. As I step down as the Head of State, I sincerely thank all those who worked with me,” said the President.
In his speech, the President detailed the important achievements during his presidency. He stressed the 21 months were not easy in anyway.
The President said that having to work under a legal framework that had constrained the powers of the President in ending a thirty-year government, it was only patience and compromises that paved the way for an election where three candidates were competing. He added while the people might feel the government was weak because of that, had the government failed to work with patience and compromise, the country would not have arrived at the current stage.
The President said one of the priorities during his tenure was to enhance the area of foreign relations, adding that the long-standing non-aligned, independent foreign policy with an Islamic character was changed by the then government.
“Because of this, in global currents, the country’s own say was weakened by manifolds. The country was under a position where it could be forced, by changing the Constitution, to do things that its legal framework didn’t allow. The government and senior leadership were being asked to resign within few hours, to flout the orders of court, and to stand against those orders,” said the President.
However, he continued, the government refused to bow down to foreign pressure, but instead upheld the legal framework and the orders of the constitutional institutions of the country.
The President said that the country’s institutions might not be perfect and might not function as perfectly as in advanced democracies. However, undermining them would not improve them but destroy them.
In the farewell speech, he stated that there was hope in the electoral process, and added that people should be given hope that any government elected must be inclusive.
In concluded his speech by stating that the people of the Maldives were closest to his heart and the people who he loved most. He appealed to the people to be vigilant of the country’s independence and not to give any opportunity to take away that independence.
The President will remain in office until a new president is sworn in, after the elections that will be held on 16th November.