Maldives ex-ruler hails new government

2012-02-10 20:00

Kuala Lumpur - The Maldives' former strongman ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Friday hailed the island nation's new government as legitimate and denied charges he was involved in engineering a coup.

Gayoom, who governed with an iron grip for three decades, also would not rule out a bid to return to power following Tuesday's resignation of elected leader Mohamed Nasheed, who quit in a move he said was forced by a police and army mutiny.

The Indian Ocean island nation has been rocked by weeks of opposition-led protests capped by the resignation of Nasheed, who has alleged a conspiracy with the involvement of Gayoom and former Vice President Mohamed Waheed.

Waheed has since been sworn in as president.

"Mr Waheed is the democratically elected president of the Maldives, according to our constitution. I called him and congratulated him," Gayoom, who is currently on a visit to Malaysia, said by phone.

Nasheed, who was imprisoned on several occasions during Gayoom's 30-year autocratic reign, defeated him in 2008 elections hailed as heralding a new era of democracy and progressive politics.

Elections

Gayoom, who had taken over leadership of the opposition, rejected Nasheed's allegations he was involved in orchestrating a coup.

"No, I had no involvement at all. I had no personal involvement in anything like a coup organised by myself," he said.

"He [Nasheed] resigned on his own."

Nasheed has demanded that Waheed step down and fresh elections be held, but Gayoom said there should be no elections until the next polls are due in 2013.

Gayoom, who said he would return home within days, also would not rule out a future bid to reclaim the presidency.

"I haven't decided yet. You can say I am keeping my options open. I don't think I will but I cannot rule it out. It depends on the circumstances," he said.

Lasting impact

Violence gripped the holiday paradise archipelago on Wednesday and Thursday, with pro-Nasheed demonstrators overrunning at least 18 police stations on outlying islands and torching government buildings.

Gayoom said there should be no lasting impact on a country that depends on foreign tourists drawn to its turquoise waters, coral-fringed beaches and luxury resorts, saying Waheed's ascension to the presidency was "legal".

But he hit out at international media, calling them "biased for depicting this as a coup or something illegal".

- SAPA

Read more on:    mohamed nasheed  |  mohamed waheed  |  maldives

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.