Must take Feb 7 events into account when reforming Police Act, says Nasheed

Former President and Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has stated that it would be detrimental to reform the Police Act without taking into account the events of February 7, 2012.

Nasheed won the first democratic elections in the Maldives in 2008 after all political leaders in the archipelago backed him in the run-off against the then strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who had been in power for three decades.

However, Nasheed controversially stepped down in 2012 on the back of a police mutiny three years into his five year term after the coalition was dismantled soon after the election.

Nasheed has always claimed he was ousted in a coup orchestrated by his then deputy and eventual successor Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik. However, a Commonwealth led inquiry commission had quashed the claims ruling that Nasheed's resignation had not been forced to step down.

While the government has proposed amendments to the Police Act, the amendments dissipate several powers to the police. Some members of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP0 has previously expressed concern on the amendments. Many expressed their mistrust in the police institution.

Nasheed on Tuesday published a tweet stating that it would be detrimental to pretend that the events of February 7 had not taken place.

However, Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed said a coup to topple the government is not something the current police force would undertake, and that he has full trust that such a situation would not occur. He further said he wished to assure the citizens regarding the same. The commissioner further stated that the events of February 7 are of the past and said many lessons had been learnt through the incident.

Nasheed has previously addressed the issue, where he stated that the report prepared by the presidential commission investigating the events had made several recommendations, which remain unimplemented to date. As long as the recommendations are not acted upon, there is a probability that such an event could recur in future, said Nasheed.