President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said that over the past three years, the Maldives democracy faced dangerous challenges, and that the task ahead was to overcome those challenges.

Addressing the people of Addu this evening, the President said that his government was “not trying to turn back the democratic clock”, but rather working to move forward with democracy. He said freedom from fear and the assurance that the people would not be snatched from their homes and put into prison, was the most valued outcomes of the democracy efforts . However, he said, this guarantee of this right and freedom was lost from the people during President Nasheed’s administration.

In his speech, President Waheed strongly condemned the damages caused in Addu Atoll on February 8 stating that the burning down of public property was something never before experienced in the Maldives. He stressed that the people responsible for this crime would be prosecuted. The President also reassured the people of Addu that the buildings would be rebuilt.

Highlighting the current political climate of the country, President Waheed called for unity and urged for a joint effort to find a way forward towards a free and fair election.

The President also reassured that his government would provide equal and just treatment for all citizens.