Trouble in Paradise
As the Maldives remains in political limbo, a central question that arises is whether former President Nasheed’s removal was a voluntary step-down or a forced coup. With rare political turmoil gripping the country, Nasheed is demanding early elections, originally scheduled for October 2013, while President Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik has publicly expressed that such a move would only be possible once the situation stabilizes. The Maldivian crisis is largely seen as an internal matter with Nasheed declaring, “Fresh elections are our bottom line and we are not relying on the international community for that, we are relying on the people of the Maldives. The medicine here is on the streets, in strength.” The UN too has maintained distance from the crisis and has stated that the Maldives must resolve its own conflict.
However, violent clashes on the street have increased and the Maldivian security forces have roughed up many of Nasheed’s supporters, identified by opposition forces. The former president has accused “rogue ele- ments” within the police force, supported by his predecessor Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and encouraged by his Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik, for overthrowing his government and forcing him to quit. Nasheed’s supporters refuse to recognize the current government and have arranged mass protests throughout the capital Male.