- India should be given a helping hand- Gayoom
- India to reassure Maldives of defence cooperation
- Mandela was the greatest statesman the world has seen – President Yameen
- JSC shuffles judges regardless of CJ’s statement
- Nasheed used democracy as tool during his rule- Riyaz
- Transparency survey is baseless- MNDF
- Pakistan High Commissioner calls on the Vice President
- Utility services in Raa atoll Dhuvaafaru island handed over to MWSC
- 20 Maldivian Officers training in Protection of Important Building programme by Turkey Police
- Some institutions refrain from giving information- ACC
- Govt to decide on unfinished resorts within 100 days
- Revised budget increased to MVR 17.5 billion
- Majlis perceived as the most corrupt institution
Maldives ex-leader warns against vote delay
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The former political prisoner became the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2008 elections but says he was forced to resign in a mutiny after anti-government protests in February.
On a visit to Washington, the 45-year-old called for elections within the year to prevent a strengthening of anti-democratic forces in the nation of 330,000 people.
“If they don’t take place in 2012, I have my doubts,” Nasheed told AFP in an interview.
“If we give them enough time to entrench themselves, they could do many things. They could skew the field in such a manner where an election cannot happen,” he said.
However, the new administration of President Mohamed Waheed has ruled out snap polls and said that the earliest elections could be held under the Maldivian constitution was July 2013.
Nasheed was in Washington speaking to officials, scholars and activists. He met Monday with Robert Blake and Michael Posner, the top State Department officials handling South Asia and human rights respectively, a spokeswoman said.
Nasheed plans to run as the nominee of his Maldivian Democratic Party in the next election. He says that he quit under duress in February after around 300 soldiers seized control in the island capital Male.
Nasheed has charged that Islamic radicals, local businessmen and holdouts from veteran strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s regime were involved in the plot.
“The issue is that the people of the Maldives must be governed by an elected leader that they choose, not through brute force, not through a regime that has come into governance through brute force,” Nasheed said.
“We feel that during the last three and a half years in government we’ve been able to deliver to the people, and I’m sure that they want us back again,” he said.
Nasheed warned that his opponents would be able to rescind freedom of assembly and expression in Maldives “and in fact the whole political infrastructure that we were able to build in the last five years.”