Nasheed: Green Constitution came as a reaction against Maumoon

Former Presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom are photographed taking a selfie. The moment captured in the photo is one of the most iconic moments in Maldivian politics. Maumoon and Nasheed were fierce political rivals before their political parties eventually formed part of coalition during the administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in 2018. (Sun File Photo)

Speaker of the Maldivian Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has said that the current constitution of the Maldives came as a ‘reaction’ against the ‘cruelty’ of the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. 

Speaking in an interview on the occasion of the 12-year anniversary of the ratification of the ‘Green Constitution’ conducted by law firm Wisham and Co, Nasheed said that the constitution of the Maldives was always used by leaders as a principle of concession.

Nasheed said that the former Moonlight constitution in place during the time when President Maumoon took office, was not at all right for Maldivians and had to be changed.

Nasheed said that different grounds were shown against amending or changing the constitution for 17 years.

“From the first constitution, I keep seeing every time, that Maldivian leaders speak about the constitution when citizens wish for more rights and more powers with new hopes. Because the powers of the state may be diminished, shown as a ground against granting the rights to citizens. I have to say that the delay in reaching the ‘Blue Constitution’ was also due to this.” Said Nasheed.

He also posed questions about why former president Maumoon started to speak about amending the constitution again, after a short period since the inception of the ‘Blue Constitution’.

Nasheed said that President Maumoon said that the constitution did not permit a system with multiple political parties, after a request to register a political party was made. 

“So, it can only be done by amending the constitution. Then, the talks about amending the constitution became a poem. A basis against permitting political parties. They began speaking about amending the ‘Blue Constitution’ as a basis for their ideology against gatherings and protests and expression of freedom, as well as peaceful political activities that they had no intention of permitting.” Said Nasheed.

 Nasheed said that the permits to form political parties were endowed not by amending the constitution, but because the then-Attorney General revised the constitution. 

He said that the current constitution was something formed by the work of everyone in the nation. 

Nasheed said that a large number of people came out to finish the work of the constitution, after the incidents involving the death of Eevan Naseem in prison. Nasheed said that he had come out to “spend his life and mean’ for the purpose because he did not see how future generations could live in peace and prosperity.

‘The current constitution was written against President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. A reaction. A reaction against President Maumoon’s autocratic rule, and cruelty. A reaction against all the brutality.” Said Nasheed.

Former President Maumoon also spoke out on the occasion of the anniversary. Maumoon said that the moment when he ratified the new constitution was one of the proudest in his time in office.

The green constitution was passed by the special Majlis on June 26, 2008, and was ratified by President Maumoon on August 7, 2008.