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

Maldives army takes over gov't, president resigns

2012-02-07 09:22:02 GMT2012-02-07 17:22:02(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English


File photo shows Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed addressing a virtual press conference in Male, capital of Maldives, on Nov. 24, 2010. Mohamed Nasheed announced resignation in a televised speech on Feb. 7, 2012 following overnight protests and demonstrations. (Xinhua)


COLOMBO, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Maldives army and police have taken control of the government on Tuesday following protests, media sources said.

The source said President Mohamed Nasheed is going to resign officially soon and Vice President will make acting president. However, Maldives High Commission in Colombo said earlier that President Nasheed already resigned, which was denied by an official from the president's office.

Maldives official sources told Xinhua that the government is scheduled to issue a statement at 2:30 p.m. local time.

Meanwhile a spokesman for the Maldives opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) told Xinhua via telephone from the Maldives capital Male that there were scenes of jubilation in the country following the announcement that Nasheed had resigned.

DQP spokesman Mohhomad Malech Jamal said that opposition political parties will now meet and decide on holding elections for a new president.

Protests against Nasheed began after the president ordered the arrest of a top criminal court judge over allegations of corruption. Violence broke out on Monday night as the army and police were deployed to break up protesters gathered at Republic Square.

Jamal claimed that a majority of the policemen later supported the protest seeking the removal of Nasheed and this led to a confrontation between the army and police. He said that following Nasheed's resignation, a new police and army chief will be appointed. He also said that some officials of the ruling party headed by Nasheed are expected to be arrested later on Wednesday.

Maldives is a top tourist destination in the world made up of several islands.


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