As of 00:00 hrs of 11th November 2013, the Presidential term has ended. According to the constitution, as well as a resolution passed by the Parliament – currently the only elected and democratic entity in the Maldives – the power is automatically transferred to Speaker Abdulla Shahid.
Yet, to the surprise of exactly no one, Waheed Hassan Manik has announced just one hour before his term ended that he intends to remain in office till November 16. Legally, Waheed Hassan Manik, President Nasheed’s VP, is no longer even entitled to office. He’s essentially a squatter holed up in the Presidential residence under the protection of the Gayoom militia (known to the poorly informed as ‘Maldives Police Service’) and the MNDF.
Waheed, who surprisingly convinced as much as 5% of the voting public to vote for him in the September 7 elections, is of course a puppet. Not that he isn’t above mocking the public, but he just doesn’t get the ultimate say in these matters.
In a blatantly anti-constitutional ruling earlier – the Supreme Court said that Waheed can stay in power so long as there is no elected President. This was followed by the a series of rulings that would prevent an election from ever taking place, by leaving it to the candidates if and when an election can take place.
Earlier in the night, a large contingent of Gayoom’s uniformed militia was seen prowling around town singing songs. You know things are bad when the SO are happy. Sure enough, by midnight, they were unleashed on the protestors. In a state of such utter lawlessness, it is clear that Speaker Shahid won’t be able to enforce the law.
A few island councils have passed resolutions to recognize only Speaker Shahid as the legitimate leader of the country.
The Daily Panic echoes this view. From this point onwards, until an election is allowed to take place. Speaker Shahid is the Maldives’ only legitimate representative and country’s interim President.