The Maldivian conundrum
We are shocked and surprised at the events which have lately unfolded in the Maldives. The first wave of news that Mohamed Nasheed has resigned his presidency of his own volition has been quickly negated by him saying that he has been forced at gunpoint to resign. Furthermore, he has asserted his intent to be reinstalled in power riding on what seems to be a crest of popular resentment against his forced removal.
Nasheed's trouble was rooted in his having ordered the army to arrest criminal court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed on charges of misconduct and favouritism to opposition figures. This gave the opposition a handle to accuse Nasheed of violating the constitution and demonstrations swelled against him -- thanks to religious conservatives who regarded his administration as un-Islamic.
Then there has been the sign of a backlash to his unceremonious ouster as people in a large part of archipelago ransacked police stations, because of police association with his ouster.
What is disturbing is the allegations made against sections of the army and the police which apparently sub-served a ploy by vice president Mohamed Waheed who took power.
The disturbances have been escalating all over the archipelago portending instability in the paradise archipelago and thus preventing democracy from taking firm roots.
The present turn of events is anti-climactic in that Nasheed had risen from the grassroots as political opponent to Maldives' long-time autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, defeating him with a landslide victory in the nation's general elections in 2008. He had sparked hopes for change which now may be stymied.
We hope that the political parties will get their act together and Maldives will soon come out of the turmoil it has been thrown into. We wish the resourceful archipelago to take its due place in Saarc as a healthy democracy.