Thu, February 09, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > Maldives crisis - Trouble in paradise

Maldives President Nasheed steps down

2012-02-08 03:47:04 GMT2012-02-08 11:47:04(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- The resignation fo Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed comes after weeks of public protests over his controversial order to arrest a senior judge.

Mohamed Nasheed was born in 1969. He graduated from Liverpool University in Britain, with a bachelor of arts in 1989. As the founder of the Maldivian Democratic Party, he served as the 4th President of the country.

In October 2008, he won a presidential candidate election in which he defeated long-time President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the second round.

On November 11th, 2008, he was sworn in as President.

Nasheed was also an environmental celebrity, travelling the world to persuade other countries to combat the climate change that could send sea levels rising and inundate his archipelago nation. This has won him great international reputation.

His cabinet also holds the notable distinction of having held the world's first underwater cabinet meeting, which was held to highlight the danger of global warming and climate change in 2009, shortly after the United Nations' General Assembly's Opening Session where small island states like the Maldives called for a concerted effort to tackle the phenomenon.

But, due to pressure from the cabinet, many of Nasheed's political and economic reforms failed to take effect. His public support rate began to drop.

In 2010, 13 cabinet ministers resigned en masse. At that time, his emergent tax reform bill was suspended by the cabinet for more than 18 months.

According to the country's Constitution, the President has no right to dismiss the cabinet. At that time, the opposition did not hold more than two thirds of cabinet seats, and therefore did not have the right to impeach the President.

Last May, there were constant protests in the capital city of Male.

The protesters said that 30 thousand people there are now suffering from inflation and high unemployment, and blamed him for not being able to solve the difficulties. The protesters also accused the government for squandering governmental budget and mismanagement of finance.



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