See More on Facebook

Politics

Maldives political crisis explained

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency on Monday prompting outcry from Western countries over Yameen’s growing authoritarianism.


Written by

Updated: February 6, 2018

Yameen was elected into office in 2012 after the previous president, Mohammed Nasheed, was forced to resign at gunpoint by security forces loyal to former strongman Maumoon Gayoom.

Yameen and Gayoom were seen as allies and Gayoom’s daughter served as the island nation’s foreign minister until last year. However, both men have had a falling out over the past 12 months resulting in the arrest of Gayoom’s son, Faris, on charges of identity fraud.

Parliamentary Crisis

Since then, the elder Gayoom and his allies in parliament have left the ruling coalition and joined the opposition causing a parliamentary crisis. While the Maldives operates on a Presidential system, meaning Yameen’s position is not yet at stake, the defection has undoubtedly weaken the president’s power.

A supreme court ruling on February 1 added to President Yameen’s woes by calling for a retrial of ousted president Nasheed who was convicted of terrorism charges by Yameen’s government. Nasheed is currently in exile in the United Kingdom.

Suspending parliament and the courts

In response to the court decision and the defections, Yameen has suspended the courts ordering military and police to hold several sitting justices. Security forces loyal to Yameen have also arrested Gayoom, whose current whereabouts are unknown.

Western nations including the US and the EU have released statements expressing concerns at Yameen’s decision and called for a restoration of parliamentary norms.

Outside Influence

With a strategic position in the Indian ocean, the Maldives has value beyond its reputation as a holiday paradise. China sees the island nation as a key link in its Belt and Road Initiative as part of its maritime silk road plan. The Maldives is situated close to major maritime shipping lanes.

With Beijing closely courting the Maldivian government, President Yameen broke a contract with Indian construction giant GMR and awarded an airport construction deal to the Chinese government. The move sparked concern from New Delhi who see the Indian Ocean as under its hegemony. India has previously supported the Maldives with monetary and security investments.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

How competing masculinities inform Pak-India escalation

Devaluing the other in gender hierarchies often takes place through feminisation. Last month, tensions reigned high between neighbouring nuclear powers that share an ugly history of separation and bellicosity. Once more, India and Pakistan seemed to be at the brink of war. Airports were shut down, the Line of Control was violated, and de-escalation — especially in the newfound absence of dedicated third-party intervention — looked out of bounds for the most part. War-mongering through media outlets prevailed while fake and selective news circulated in this situation of crisis. Yet, it is baffling — if also not amusing — that even in such delicate moments, rhetoric of ‘putting them in their place’ was omnipresent on both sides. Similarly, a few months ago, when Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted his disappointment regarding peace talks with India, he chastised that he ha


By Dawn
March 21, 2019

Politics

Rahul tears into PM Modi over job losses, calls PM a ‘joke’

The country’s unemployment rate was reportedly at a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18. Turning up the heat on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the reported high rate of unemployment and job losses in the country, Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday, alleged that Modi’s policies “destroyed” thousands of jobs in 2018 alone and that “India’s PM is a joke”. Seeking to turn the focus back on the issue of lack of jobs and employment opportunities for the country’s youths, Gandhi tagged a fresh media report which, quoting the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data, stated that for the first time since 1993-94, the actual size of India’s male workforce has shrunk. The  NSSO report is based on the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) which was conducted between July 2017 and June 2018 ~ the Modi government has not officially released the report so far. According


By The Statesman
March 21, 2019

Politics

Thais wont mobilize in protest even if junta wins elections.

Thailand’s ersatz elections will not bother most Thais even if army comes back to rule. Every country has their breaking point, where corruption, abuse and living standards reach a point where people are compelled to take to the streets and demand a change. Thailand’s breaking point appears to be much higher than most. After all, a decade of political infighting, street riots, and military crackdowns has made mass protest much less palatable for the common Thai. Despite this, the military seem to be doing their utmost to push the populace to their limit. Reports from early and overseas voters tell of an election deeply flawed with spoiled ballots, discounted votes and confusing polling procedures. Some votes have been disregarded altogether, including those that voted for the Thai Raksa Chat Party who was disqualified by the Election Commission for running a princess to be p


By Cod Satrusayang
March 20, 2019

Politics

Malaysia detains 13 suspected militants

Six of them were involved in the Marawi siege in the Philippines. Thirteen suspected militants, including six pro-Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members allegedly involved in the deadly Marawi siege in southern Philippines, have been detained by Malaysian authorities. Malaysia’s national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said 12 Filipinos and a Malaysian were arrested on March 11 and 12 by police’s Counter Terrorism Division, with the help of Special Branch, Sabah police and elite multi-tasking special forces unit 69 Commando. “They were detained for their suspected involvement in several terror groups… either the ASG, Maute combatants or the Royal Sulu Force (RSF),” he said in a statement on Monday (March 18). “Some of them were also involved in giving protection to foreign terrorist fighters who are hiding in Sabah.” The first arrests, the Inspector-Genera


By The Straits Times
March 19, 2019

Politics

Duterte to deport any ICC official investigating his rights record

Many have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Duterte’s deadly drug war. International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors will be denied entry and deported if they try to enter the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity, Malacañang said on Monday. “Certainly we will not allow any attempt at interfering with the sovereignty of this country,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters a day after the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC became official. The President withdrew the Philippines from the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal last year after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she had opened a preliminary examination of information brought against the Philippine leader about thousands of extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs. Investigation can go on


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 19, 2019

Politics

Will Sunday’s election ease or aggravate the conflict?

Sunday’s upcoming election will be the first poll Thailand has held since the military took over in 2014. Next Sunday will be a crucial day for Thailand, as voters cast their ballot to decide on the country’s future. But what happens after the ballot boxes are closed remains uncertain. Will this election end a decade-long political conflict, or will it just create a new round of battles? With voting just a week away, observers and political scientists The Nation spoke to believe that the most likely scenario after the poll is that General Prayut Chan-o-cha will return as prime minister, thanks mainly to support from Phalang Pracharat Party and its allies. Based on this scenario, Uttama Savanayana’s Phalang Pracharat along with its allies – Ruam Palang Prachachat


By The Nation (Thailand)
March 18, 2019