Crisis in Male 

Crisis in Male 

Context

Fresh elections, with the opposition free to contest, are the best option for the Maldives

Backdrop

  • Yameen has ruled since 2013 when he won power in an election, the result of which is still contested. He defeated Mohammad Nasheed, who had been deposed in 2012 and who, in 2015, was sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges of terrorism
  • Nasheed is now in exile. In an order on February 1, the Supreme Court cancelled his imprisonment term and that of eight other political leaders, reinstated 12 parliamentarians who had been disqualified last year, and ordered Mr. Yameen to allow the Maldivian parliament, or Majlis, to convene
  • Yameen has thus far failed to comply with any of these orders, despite an official statement on February 2 about his government’s “commitment to uphold and abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court”
  • Government has refused to cancel the imprisonment of the nine leaders, amongst whom is Mr. Yameen’s former vice president and his former defence minister, members of parliament and leaders of major opposition parties, apart from Mr. Nasheed himself
  • The President has also refused to allow the Majlis to meet

India’s position

India has joined the U.S., the European Union and several other countries in calling for Mr. Yameen to carry out the Supreme Court’s order.

  • Delhi’s leverage in the Maldives is less than it has ever been. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to cancel his visit to Male three years ago, has singled Maldives out as the only country in the South Asian and Indian Ocean Region that he hasn’t visited
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