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Maldives President Nasheed jittery over the strength of the Civic Coalition

Male', Maldives.

Maldives President Nasheed's Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair (Juha) said today that the Nasheed regime will consider the five demands made by the Civic Coalition at yesterday's mass protest against Nasheed and his corrupt Government.

Media estimates yesterday's 8 hour civil gathering at Victory Square, Male' at about 20,000 civilians. However, in an effort to play down the largest civil gathering in the country to date, Press Secretary Zuhair estimated the protestors to be a mere 3,000. This gross underestimation could be an indication of the degree of panic in MDP top ranks at the strength of civil opposition to their rule.

Zuhair said that the Government requires time to consider the Civic Protest demands as these demands were not specific enough to enable immediate action.

In further moves to downplay the significance of yesterday's mass protest against President Nasheed, the MDP Government has been portraying the protest as one of religious fundamentalism. The MDP Government has called the protest leaders religious fundamentalists and terrorists, a label that the leaders denied last night on the protest stage.

The MDP Government remains jittery about the next move of the Civic Coalition, as evidenced by the military's call upon news media today not to air anti-government protests or sentiments.

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