People on the streets, officials, professionals and even the new President, Waheed Hassan Manik, did not expect the change to happen so soon, and in the manner in which it happened.
“There have been protests all along for so many weeks,” said Sajith, a professional working here for about a decade. “But the change of President was totally unexpected.”
Abdul Latheef Adam of the Miadhu Daily said that he, like many Maldivians, was worried about the protests. But he too did not think the transition would happen so soon, and in such a way. A radio journalist, who was at the President's office said he did not expect that he would wake up one morning and find a new President.
“I was not prepared at all, especially because President Nasheed did not confide in me on many things,” said the new President, Dr. Waheed, when asked if he knew what was coming.
“The Vice-President is supposed to take over if something happens to the President. He is supposed to be fully prepared at all times. I must say that I was not fully prepared.
“As a result, you will see that we have not been able to communicate effectively to you what happened here.”
He said if there was a plot, the event would have been better managed. “All kinds of rumours are flying around. This is an example of us not being prepared. Do you think that, as somebody who has worked in international organisations, I am unaware of the importance of public relations? If I had a plan, would I also not have a media plan ready? I had no idea that this was going to happen yesterday. Of course we all knew that the situation was getting worse, that protests were building up. But I don't think anybody in The Maldives expected this to happen yesterday.”