November 15, 2019

Police issue warrant for ex Maldives president

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MALE, Maldives (AP) — A Maldives court issued an arrest warrant Thursday for former President Mohamed Nasheed, one day after his supporters rampaged in the capital and his claim of being ousted by a coup left unclear the stability of the fledging Indian Ocean democracy.

Police spokesman Abdul Mannan Yusuf refused to disclose the grounds for the criminal court’s warrant, or say when Nasheed — who is living at his Male home, surrounded by supporters — would be arrested. Later, Police Commissioner Abdullah Riaz said it was not clear if the warrant was constitutional. He declined to provide details, but said the warrant’s legality was still being examined.

Nasheed had announced he was voluntarily resigning Tuesday after months of protests against his rule and fading support from the police and the army. But the next day, as former Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan was forming a new government, Nasheed suddenly announced he had actually been pushed from power at gunpoint.

Thousands of his supporters swept into the streets. They clashed with security forces in Male, the capital, and attacked police stations in remote parts of this 1,200-island archipelago nation off southern India. The new government insists there was no coup.

The dispute threatens the crucial tourism industry of this mostly Muslim nation of 300,000 people, which relies on dozens of high-end resorts that cater to the rich and famous.

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