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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Maldives: Roadblocks to democracy

[b]Maldives: Roadblocks to democracy[/b]

By Alok Bansal

After promising multiparty democracy in Maldives, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has ruled Maldives uninterruptedly since 1978, seems to have developed cold feet. The government has already missed a pledge to implement widespread democratic reform by January 2006. The arrests of opposition leaders in recent past have severely jeopardized the island nation’s planned transition to democracy and have severely dented the credibility of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

They have put question mark on President Gayoom’s commitment to the establishment of a genuine multiparty democracy in Maldives. Mohammed Nasheed, the leader of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), who had returned to Maldives only on April 30, 2005, after prolonged exile was arrested on August 12, 2005 for making comments against President Gayoom.

Initially officials had stated that he was detained for his own safety, but after keeping him in detention for ten days without charges.

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