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Multi-party opposition launches Shadow Cabinet

2 Jun 2016 | By Ramya
Political Crisis in Maldives

A multi-party opposition was launched in London that pledged to fight for restoring democracy in Maldives on Wednesday.

The Shadow Cabinet and the newly-formed Maldives United Opposition would be headed by former-Vice President of Maldives, Mohamed Jameel Ahmed while Ali Waheed (Chairperson of Maldives Democratic Party) would be the Deputy Leader.

Maldives' first democratically-elected President Mohamed Nasheed would be the Shadow Cabinet's Advisor.

In context: Political Crisis in Maldives

Introduction Maldives' first democratically elected president

In 2008, Mohamed Nasheed ran for the President on a ticket from Maldivian Democratic Party with Gaumee Itthihaad Party's Mohammed Waheed Hassan, as the Vice Presidential Candidate.

On 11 Nov'08, Nasheed was sworn in as the fourth President of Maldives and Waheed as the Vice President.

Nasheed's first cabinet comprised 14 ministers; he was the first president to create an Islamic Ministry in Maldives.

Resignations Cabinet ministers resign en masse

The first blow to Nasheed's coalition government came in the guise of resignation from Home Minister Qasim Ibrahim followed by Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed.

Next followed Attorney General Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed's resignation; Husnu Suood replaced Saeed as Attorney General but resigned soon after.

Finance Minister Mohamed Inaz too resigned; coalition partners withdrew ties with the ruling MDP because of religious matters.

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Events that led to political crisis

Political CrisisEvents that led to political crisis

29 Jun'10: 12 cabinet ministers protested the behavior of opposition MPs and resigned simultaneously.

7 Jul'10: President Nasheed re-appointed the 12 ministers and stated that their government would fulfill its pledges to people.

2 Nov'10: The Parliament declared that only five out of the 12 re-appointed ministers would be accepted and demanded others to withdraw; this resulted in disagreement between the government and opposition.

Supreme Court orders ministers to step down

The Parliament stated that those rejected wouldn’t be considered as ministers. In Dec’10, the Supreme Court of Maldives ruled that the rejected appointees can’t remain in their posts and ordered them to vacate their posts.

Protests, resignationPresident Nasheed resigns under pressure

Because of the lack of transparency and constitution, cabinet ministers in the coalition began to resign and protest.

In Dec'11, coalition parties and other parties formed an opposition against Nasheed.

Protests became more violent as police and military forces had joined the protests too.

On 7 Feb'12, President Nasheed had resigned from his post amid unrest; he claimed that he was compelled to resign.

Arrest WarrantFormer-President Nasheed served an arrest warrant

Following Nasheed's arrest, former-Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan became the President.

Allegedly, Nasheed and MDP supporters had opposed Nasheed's ousting; it was reported that Nasheed-led protests were an act of terrorism and a warrant to arrest Nasheed was issued.

A British Commonwealth meeting stated that it couldn't determine the constitutionality of Nasheed's resignation; Maldives Defence Chief Jaleel, however, said that Nasheed resigned under duress.

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Post-Presidency Nasheed detained; granted asylum in UK

After being forced out of office, Nasheed was arrested and released twice; he had taken refuge in the Indian High Commission in Feb'13.

In Feb'15, he was arrested and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment under Maldives' Anti-terrorism Act.

In Jan'16, Nasheed was granted permission to undergo a spinal surgery in the UK on condition that he would serve the remainder after returning to Maldives.

2 Jun 2016Multi-party opposition launches Shadow Cabinet

17 Jun 2016US expresses concern over Maldives' political agenda

The United States has expressed concern "about the narrowing of legitimate political space" in the Maldives.

Criticizing the poor state of democracy in the country, The US state department said "too many opposition politicians are behind bars because the government's intolerance for criticism ."

US officials added tht they would "support the Maldivian people's desire to see their country reinforce its democracy."

24 Jun 2016Maldives opposition calls for India

Ahmed Naseem, the leader of the Maldivian opposition has called for India's intervention amidst the ongoing political crisis in the country.

Stating that India could play "a much bigger role" in the Maldives, he called for a "more active Indian role in bringing back Maldives' democracy on track."

He accused Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen of intending to make the Maldives "an authoritarian state."