MDP clarifies events leading to overthrow of Maldives government

Received 18.01, 7 February 2012:

The Maldives Democratic Party today issued the following information about the overthrow of the Maldives’ first democratically elected President.

The overthrow occured after small numbers of police and army personal, in response to a call from leading opposition figures, Abdulla Yameen (former President Gayoom’s half brother) and Umar Naseer (former security officer in the regime of President Gayoom), joined with a group of protesters in the centre of Male, protesting against the arrest and detention of a judge accused of corruption.

These police and army personel, especially those from the notorious Star Force established by former President Gayoom then, ignoring the chain of command, moved around the capital in full riot gear, attacking MDP headquarters and the houses of MDP MPs and government officials. Many MDP members and government officials were badly hurt. Some are unaccounted for. MDP-associated property continues to be attacked.

In this climate of chaos and fear, the rogue elements of the police and army helped to take over the main national TV channel, MNBC, replacing it with President Gayoom’s old TV Maldives, and also moved to take control of key installations.

During this time, ex President Gayoom’s allies moved to retake control of the army and police.

The opposition, supported by the army and police, then offered an ultimatum to President Nasheed: step down or be faced with a bloodbath in the capital.

President Nasheed thus resigned in order to protect the public from further violence. His resignation was involuntary in that he had no choice.


© Mark Lynas
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