Maldives Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed. , Photo Credit: Reuters
The Maldives Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed resigned on Monday, days before the swearing-in of a new President following a fiercely contested election in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Parliamentary elections are not due until the second quarter of next year, meaning that President-elect Mohamed Muizzu — who takes power on Friday after winning September polls — will have to work with an Opposition-controlled parliament.
Mr. Nasheed, who is also a former President, decided to quit from the number two position in the country to head off a no-confidence motion by ruling party legislators, a close aide told AFP,
“He didn’t want a no-trust vote against him and decided to resign,” the aide said.
Mr. Nasheed caught international attention for holding a 2009 Cabinet meeting underwater to highlight the threat of global warming, signing documents as officials wore scuba gear with coral reefs in the background.
He was toppled in a military-backed coup in 2012, convicted on a terrorism charge and jailed for 13 years.
He left the country on medical leave and sought refuge in Britain, returning to the Maldives after President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the presidency in 2018 with his backing.
In 2019, Mr. Nasheed became Speaker after his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) won parliamentary elections, but he quit the party in June over differences with Mr. Solih.
Mr. Nasheed, a world-renowned climate campaigner, survived an assassination attempt in May 2021, spending five months in Germany for treatment after a bomb blast.
There has been no claim of responsibility, but the MDP has blamed religious extremists in the tiny Islamic republic of 380,000 Sunni Muslims, which practices a liberal form of the religion and is known for its upmarket tourism.