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#Maldives Presidency 2013: ex-President leads riots, arson and vandalism in a bid to regain the presidency

Male', Maldives.
ex-President Mohamed Nasheed today took to Male' streets, demanding his job back. Nasheed and his ex-Ministers led street riots in Male' which vandalized private and public property. These were supported by arson, vandalism and attacks on police stations in island strongholds of Nasheed's party. In the countrywide terror campaign led by ex President Nasheed, up to now, 9 police stations, 3 Court Houses and 1 Council Office has been razed to the ground by MDP activists today.

ex-President Nasheed has accused his successor President Mohamed Waheed of instigating and leading a military coup against him. Nasheed's demand for reinstatement as President comes within 24 hours of his publicly televised resignation address, at which he stated that he was resigning willingly, for the good of the people.

Late this evening, after hours of riots, the MDP has called for President Waheed's immediate resignation and the Speaker of Parliament to hold immediate elections.

In a well orchestrated move this afternoon, Nasheed incited members of the MDP National Council today by claiming that he had resigned at gunpoint.

"There were 18 security service people with guns pointed at me. They said they would use these guns if I did not resign", he said. Nasheed had earlier in the day repeated this same version to international press.

MDP MP Mariya Didi then table a resolution that stated that MDP National Council affirmed that Nasheed was the constitutional president of the country, and call upon Party members to restore Nasheed to his previous position. Nasheed and his core group then led Council members into streets where MDP members had been summoned for an address by Nasheed. The MDP protestors then marched towards central Male' with Nasheed and his ex-Ministers and MPs spearheading it.

Some MDP MPs and leading activists who had spoken against a move to regain the Presidency unconstitutionally were significantly absent from the street riots.

MDP insiders say that the agenda of the meeting was to discuss an offer by President Waheed for MDP to join him in a national unity government to peacefully manage the transition to free and fair elections in 2013. The Party President Dr. Ibrahim Didi had initially called the National Council meeting last night, but Nasheed had prevented it by ensuring that the quorum was not met, the MDP Council member said. Asking to remain anonymous, he said Nasheed last night either met personally or lobbied on the phone Council members to support Mariya's motion.

Nasheed, no longer a Council member, was waiting outside the meeting hall when the meeting began. He was then invited to join the meeting by Party President Didi. Party President Didi last night told media that the party accepted Nasheed's resignation because it was the will of the people. He told media that the downfall had been due to Nasheed being coerced into unconstitutional actions against the Judiciary by some influential MDP frontliners who were acting to protect their private interests. This same charge, that influential MDP front liners had pushed Nasheed into constitutional violations, was repeated by an MDP MP (Col. Nasheed) in an interview to Sun.mv today.

Late this evening, the Maldives Defense Forces categorically denied Nasheed's allegations of being held at gunpoint. The MNDF said that Mohamed Nasheed resigned from Presidency yesterday on his free will and that no MNDF officer who had pointed a gun at him.

President Waheed, a poplar activist and human rights campaigner in Maldives long before Nasheed came on the scene, today denied any coup, and any involvement in Nasheed's resignation.

"There was no coup. President Nasheed, or someone close to him, gave unconstitutional orders to security forces, which they refused to obey, as is their legal right," he said.

Voicing his condemnation of Nasheed's constitutional violations which sparked popular protest, President Waheed told international media, "When a judge is arrested by the military, when the constitution is violated by the government, if it had happened in your country, you too would protest. So, why should Maldivians be any different?.

President Waheed reaffirmed that his Presidency would be according to the constitution and laws of the country.

MDP supporters on some islands are still continuing their arson attacks on police stations, police personnel and other public property. However, even in these isolated islands, as in Male', there is no popular support for Nasheed's bid to regain the presidency through riots. The general populace has preferred to stay indoors while security forces and Nasheed's party thrash it out in the streets.

It is pertinent to note that it is Nasheed himself who is leading his supporters in the brand of terrorism that he had repeatedly alleged against Maldivians.

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