Trou­ble in Par­adise

Southasia - - 15 -

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.

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