033_Global12_Spotlight_MaldivesRS_V6

Global issue 12

SpotlightMaldives to lethal force, Nasheed complied with the demand and resigned, but later alleged this Key data had been under duress and that Waheed had  Population: 316,000 (2010) seized power in a coup d’état. When Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic  Offi cial language: Dhivehi Party (MDP) – by far the largest in the  Literacy: 98.4% country – marched in protest on 8 Febru- India  Life expectancy: 77 years ary, it was met with a brutal police crack-  Capital: Malé down, reminiscent of the country’s 30 years of dictatorship under President Maumoon Sri Lanka  Land area: 298 km2 Abdul Gayoom.  GDP: $2.88 billion (2011 est.) If the Maldives had seemed to be on its  GNI per capita: $5,750 way to becoming a model Islamic democ- racy under Nasheed – himself a former po- Maldives •Malé  Main export: fi sh litical prisoner – the involvement in Nash- eed’s downfall of Gayoom’s ‘star force’ riot police seemed an ominous portent for other Arab Spring nations. “The lesson is we didn’t deal with Gayoom. That’s the of resort tycoons, religious fundamentalists vehi, the local language, was signifi cant obvious lesson. And my romantic ideas of and political opportunists. Nasheed’s MDP because, under the country’s 2008 con- how to deal with a dictator were wrong,” was one of only two parties to even have a stitution, all Maldivian citizens are man- Nasheed said in an interview a month after manifesto. The other was Waheed’s party, datorily Sunni Muslims. Many rights, such his resignation. the intellectual and technocratic Gaumee It- as freedom of expression, come with the It was a striking reversal of his mag- thihaad, which, with a meagre 2,600 mem- blanket caveat, “subject to the tenets of nanimity following the 2008 election, in bers, received just 518 votes in the subse- Islam”. This places great authority in who- which he smoothly came to power as part of quent parliamentary election – 0.31 percent ever claims to interpret those tenets. The a broad coalition of Gayoom’s opponents. of the vote. religious Adhaalath Party, despite its poor However, ousting Gayoom was the only After taking power, Waheed’s use of Is- electoral performance and lack of parlia- shared policy of the coalition’s assortment lamic rhetoric whenever he spoke in Dhi- mentary representation, nonetheless com-  globalfourth quarter 2012 www.global-briefing.org l33


Global issue 12
To see the actual publication please follow the link above