Male/Colombo: Indian ocean archipelago
of Maldives was in grip of a political crisis as a power
struggle intensified between President Mohammad Nasheed and
the opposition controlled parliament, leaving the country
without an effective government.
With the cabinet resigning en-masse over what they
describe as "hijacking the powers of the executive", the
National Defence Forces guardsmen patrolled the streets amid
reports of police carrying out arrests of some leading
Police arrested the half brother of former President
Mohd Abdul Gayoom and his former finance minister on charges
of bribing the MPs to destabilise the government.
"The Maldivian police has arrested Abdulla Yameen
(Gayoom’s half brother) and the former president Gayoom`s
Finance Minister Gafim Abrahim on charges of bribing the
Members of Parliament to destabilise the government," top
sources in Maldivan President`s office told agency.
The rebellion is led by the deputy leader of the
Majlis Umar Naseer of the DRP party who has sought a no
confidence motion against the cabinet, sources said.
Military Chief Maj Gen Moosa Ali Jalil said the
resignations by the cabinet had led to "upheaval in political
situation" and the forces were out to ensure there was no
negative effect on the peace.
The political stalemate in the country came as the
opposition controlled Majlis blocked official legislations,
including bills for privatisation of major national assets.
Nasheed, 43, who came to power in 2008 as the Island
nation`s first democratically elected President, blamed the
opposition for blocking his efforts to govern and undermining
the authority of the executive.
"The Majlis is preventing the cabinet ministers from
performing their legal obligations. Majlis members are
behaving against the spirit and the letter of the
Constitution," a statement issued by the President`s office
Though the entire 13-member cabinet resigned en-masse,
the President and the Vice President continued to hold office.
Nasheed said he was investigating the reasons why the
Majlis is preventing cabinet ministers from performing their
The Maldivan Majlis or Parliament has 77 members.
While Nasheed`s party has 32 members, the opposition Dhivehi
Rayyithunge Party has 34 seats and backing of some
The President also charged "Majlis members were
behaving against the spirit and letter of the Constitution."
Attorney General Husnu Suood said it was becoming
difficult to govern the archipelago of 330,000, which is South
Asia`s most expensive and idyllic tourist destination.
"Every passing week, there is another attempt by
opposition MPs to wrestle more control from the executive.
They are making the country ungovernable," he said.