Good afternoon Ambassador, Speaker of the Majlis, the Vice President, MPs and everyone present here today. Sad to say I cannot mention Ministers.
Of course, 4th of July or the US Independence Day for many of us is the day that we will always commemorate as the day when people have always understood that democracy is, broadly the best form of governance, and no people have been able to experiment and make that system a reality than the American people. I would, therefore, like to congratulate and wish the American people from the bottom of my heart.
It is a very difficult day for us today.
While we learn from many, many experiences such as yours and many other countries, while we understand that everyone is quite willing to assist us, help us, advice us and be with us, it is still a very difficult day.
Today, we face one of the biggest challenges that this nation has ever, in my mind, faced. We have a constitutional crisis and we are trying to come out of it.
I hope that the worst of it is over and I am very confident that we will be able to come out of this crisis intact.
In my mind there is no best formula, there is no best course of action than dialogue, than talking to each other.
We will adhere to rule of law. We will follow the book and this government will not do anything that is illegal or that is not prescribed by law. That is one certainty that I like to give to every single person here and this country.
The Ministers resigned saying that in their mind the parliament is obstructing their work and this they say is not the real issue. They believe that MPs debating or obstructing or formulating legislations and directing the government is not the issue and that it is exactly how we would like to work. But their issue is, that Parliament’s deliberations are not based on merit or ideology or party politics but rather based on corruption and bribery. When the whole Cabinet accuses a whole institution of that, I have to look into it and I am looking into it.
Two things have come as I stand here today: one is allegations by MPs themselves that they have been approached and they have been asked to accept bribes; and secondly and more sadly, telephone conversations between MPs that very clearly indicates that they have been in the act of either buying or selling votes.
This is not the system that we sought. This is not the type of government that we had in mind to lead and therefore this is not the type of government that we are going to lead.
We have to rid this country of corruption, human rights abuse and all the other illnesses of society. I understand that it is going to be difficult. Even initially, we always understood that this is going to be very, very difficult. But we always believed that the best course of action would be to let democracy take its course and to let democracy solve these issues.
I believe that it is getting difficult everyday for just the process of democracy to solve all our issues or rather the Majlis to have deliberations and vote upon a right course of action. Because it is no longer possible for many of us to believe that the Parliament’s course of action is based on their principles or their beliefs. So we have to now investigate this.
But I still hope that we will be able to come out of this affair intact and I still hope that all political parties will be available for consultation and that we will be able to have an amicable understanding on how we may be able to move forward.
I would like to thank the Speaker of the Majlis. I have always found him a strong and honest person. He might have difference of opinion with me. There will never be an issue because of that. But I for one would like to work with him, and I would like to work with other political parties and other leaders to see how we may be able to go forward.
I would like to tell the international community, the good people of the United States that this first democratic government of the Maldives was not elected simply just to be in government. We have been entrusted to do a certain set of things. We are forced to, I would say, the people have very categorically asked us that we implement and we establish democracy in this country. Now how do we do that? Of course not by arresting Parliament members, but also of course, not by bribery and buying votes. This is not the way to go forward. I think this is the moment for all of us, to ask questions and hopefully seek answers.
I still believe and I still hope that this impasse, that this deadlock will not continue long and that we will be able to find an amicable solution.
I also would like to thank the Ambassador and the United States government for assisting us in our road to democracy and also now being such a strong partner in our development. The United States have always assisted this country.
We stand with the United States, we share similar ideologies, we share the same beliefs and the same outlook to life and we want to succeed as much as everyone else in this planet would want to succeed.
Again thank you very much for having this celebration today. It could have been another day, it could have been a day when we have the whole Cabinet intact and when we didn’t think there was any problem with us. But I think this is better. I think we are now able to come head-on and solve our problems and solve our issues.
In this country, bribery and human rights abuse have always stood at the core of many illnesses and now the ugly face have resumed again and we have to be able to deal with it.
I would like to assure everyone that I will never step back, neither will I force myself forward. I will adhere to the rule of law, we will deal with this by the book and I am confident and I am sure that we will prosper and we will be able to reach the goals that we have so joyously, even few days back had drawn.
Again thank you very much everyone. Thank you very much for the Ambassador for having this function here in the Maldives today. Thank you.