President Out After Mutiny in Maldives

Mohamed Nasheed hands over power to vice president
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2012 6:51 AM CST
President Out After Mutiny in Maldives
In this photo provided by Maldives President's Office, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed announces his resignation in a nationally televised address Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 7, 2012 in Male, Maldives.   (AP Photo/Maldives President's Office)

A police mutiny has pushed Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed to resign, less than four years after he became the first democratically elected leader of the Indian Ocean island nation. Opposition protests erupted weeks ago after Nasheed arrested a judge who, he claimed, was still under the control of previous leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Protesters accused Nasheed of corruption and of dictator-like actions.

"It's a coup, I am afraid," one of Nasheed's aides tells Reuters. "The police and Gayoom's people as well as some elements in the military have forced the president Nasheed to resign. According to my book it's a coup." Nasheed today handed over power to Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, who says that Nasheed is in protective custody for his own safety. In a resignation address, Nasheed explained that "I resign because I am not a person who wishes to rule with the use of power. I believe that if the government were to remain in power it would require the use of force which would harm many citizens. " (More Maldives stories.)

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