Peo­ple’s pres­i­dent

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

Ab­dulla Yameen of the Pro­gres­sive Party of the Mal­dives was elected pres­i­dent of the coun­try af­ter his shock vic­tory in the Novem­ber 2013 elec­tions. Yameen, , who is half brother of long-time Mal­di­vian ruler Mau­moon Ab­dul Gay­oom, was sworn in by the chief jus­tice at a cer­e­mony at­tended by his de­feated op­po­nent Mo­hamed Nasheed who con­ceded de­feat af­ter a bit­terly fought bat­tle.

The pres­i­den­tial polls in the Mal­dives were can­celled a num­ber of times by the supreme court of the coun­try. The sit­u­a­tion had be­come so se­ri­ous that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity had put the na­tion on no­tice to elect a leader by Novem­ber 17 or risk cen­sure. Western diplo­mats had threat­ened in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion un­less the Mal­dives al­lowed its peo­ple to freely elect a leader. The Euro­pean Union had warned of "ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures" if elec­tions did not go ahead while the Com­mon­wealth had threat­ened to ex­pel the coun­try from its mem­ber­ship.

The United States and In­dia were among the first coun­tries to con­grat­u­late Yameen on his elec­tion. New Delhi had had an un­easy re­la­tion­ship with Male af­ter the top­pling of the for­mer Pres­i­dent, Nasheed. Nasheed had once taken refuge at the In­dian High Com­mis­sion in Male to avoid ar­rest. He had also claimed that the Fe­bru­ary 2012 coup to top­ple his gov­ern­ment was trig­gered by a po­lice mutiny and months of pub­lic protests or­ches­trated by Yameen's party and was sup­ported by the then Vice Pres­i­dent, Wa­heed.

Nasheed had also ac­cused Yameen's half-brother Mau­moon Ab­dul Gay­oom, who ruled the is­land coun­try with an iron fist for 30 years, of be­ing be­hind his down­fall. But af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the elec­tion re­sult, both Nasheed and Yameen pledged to work to­gether to bring sta­bil­ity to the coun­try.

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