Naushad Waheed Hassan Manik was sacked as the deputy high commissioner at the High Commission of the Maldives in London on Wednesday. A document issued by the President’s Office revealed that, in removing Waheed, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had exercised his executive powers derived from Article 115 of the Constitution.

Waheed’s removal follows his criticism, on social media, of the High Commissioner in London, Farahnaz Faisal, and those in Solih’s government while praising Speaker Mohamed Nasheed’s democracy credentials.

“President @MohamedNasheed [Mohamed Nasheed] is the paragon of democracy in the Maldives. Alternatively the likes of @DrFarahFaizal [Farahanaz Faizal] will be forever shameless hypocrites bouncing around [looking for influence]. Don’t cry fake tears. [Yours is a] Greed for positions [of influence]. @anedhivehirajje [‘MN unofficial’], @Imthiyazfahmy [ Imthiyaz Fahmy, The Democrats affiliated Member of Parliament (MP) for the Maafannu North constituency], @waddey_ [Mohamed Waheed, The Democrats affiliated MP for the Ungoofaaru constituency], @ilyas_labeeb [Ilyas Labeeb, The Democrats’ presidential candidate and MP for the Hulhudhoo constituency]” Naushad said in a post to social media, publicly deriding his immediate chief, two days ahead of his firing.

Naushad Waheed, who has been with the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) since its inception and is also the younger brother of former president Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, has always been seen as a close associate and unwavering supporter of Nasheed. He backed Nasheed in the presidential primary that led to the splintering of the MDP, with the breakaway faction forming The Democrats.

Following Naushad Waheed’s removal from his diplomatic post, Nasheed, on social media, called the firing a ‘shameful act’ perpetrated against one who had ‘served the nation and the democratic movement,’ as few others have.

Naushad Waheed is a reputed local artist with decades of experience known for his distinctive, stylised, paintings and sculptures reflecting traditional Maldivian motifs – he is a prominent activist and was jailed and labelled a ‘state agitator’ during the Maumoon Abdul Gayoom era.