Almost a month after a new regime took over in Maldives amidst allegations of coup, the former dictator, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, returned to the country, opposing early polls and claimed he had no role in the change of government.
After returning from his two-month trip to Malaysia, Mr. Gayoom said the previous government led by Mohammed Nasheed had breached many laws and that his Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the parties in the coalition had tried to protest within the contours of the law. “We did that [resist the unlawful orders], but no, we did not do anything to overthrow the government by illegal means. The rumours are false and baseless allegations,” Mr. Gayoom told reporters at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport here last night.
Mr. Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party has accused Mr. Gayoom of being the mastermind behind the “coup”.
On the issue of early polls, Mr. Gayoom said he did not support rushing in to an early election and said the presidential polls must be held every five years as scheduled, the Haveeru daily reported.
He added that after Mr. Nasheed's resignation, his deputy Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was sworn in as President constitutionally.
Interestingly, Mr. Waheed had on Monday picked up two more Gayoom-era officials to fill the crucial Cabinet berths of Foreign Affairs and Finance.
With the new appointments, former loyalists of the Gayoom regime that ruled Maldives for 30 years now dominate Mr. Waheed's Cabinet that also has the former dictator's daughter, Dhunya Maumoon, as a State Minister for Foreign Affairs.