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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs