News / Asia

Former Maldives President Demands Elections

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco (R) talks to ousted Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed (L) on the country's current situation at Nasheed's private residence in Male February 10, 2012
U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco (R) talks to ousted Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed (L) on the country's current situation at Nasheed's private residence in Male February 10, 2012

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is demanding early elections and threatening street protests, as the political crisis in the Indian Ocean nation escalates.

Nasheed's call came after he attended Friday prayers in the capital, Male, under heavy security. He has mainly remained at his home, alleging he was forced from office Tuesday in a coup. The Maldives' first democratically-elected leader has vowed to remain in the country despite the fact that a warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Key Facts About Maldives

  • Maldives is a chain of almost 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean.
  • Less than 200 of the islands are inhabited.
  • 80 percent of the land area is one meter or less above sea level.
  • Tourism is Maldives' largest industry.
  • Population in 2010 was 310,000 people.
  • Maldives gained independence in 1965

United Nations official Oscar Fernandez-Taranco is in Maldives and met with new President Mohammad Washeed Hassan and Nasheed Friday, in an attempt to help resolve the political dispute.  

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake was due to arrive in the Maldives on Saturday to hold talks with both Hassan and Nasheed. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday that the United States recognized the new Maldivian government as legitimate.

Nasheed on Friday expressed his disappointment with the U.S. stance. He maintains that the new president was involved in helping to remove him from office, allegations Hassan denies.

An arrest warrant was issued for Nasheed on Thursday, following violent clashes Wednesday between police and Nasheed's supporters in Male and several outlying islands.

Friday, the capital remained calm. But the former president said security forces were still targeting his supporters on the Maldives' most southern atoll of Addu.

Nasheed resigned Tuesday after numerous calls by protesters and police officers for him to step down.  His former deputy, Waheed Hassan, was sworn in as president hours later.   

The resignation came after Nasheed ordered the arrest of a senior judge, sparking three weeks of protests.

In a New York Times opinion piece Thursday, Nasheed said the judiciary was hand-picked by then-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the archipelago for three decades.  Nasheed said the judges provided protection for Gayoom and his allies, many of whom are accused of corruption, embezzlement and human rights crimes.

Former President Gayoom on Friday rejected Nasheed's allegations of a coup and denied he has been involved in the unrest. Gayoom told the French News Agency that Hassan is the democratically-elected president of Maldives.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday he was sending a special envoy to Male to assess the situation although the government saw the situation in the Maldives as an "internal matter."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid