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Maldives Steps Up Hunt for Suspects after Bomb Attack on Nasheed

There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday's bomb attack, but officials close to Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said they suspected vested political interests opposed to his anti-corruption drive.

Nasheed has vowed to investigate a $90-million theft from the state's tourism promotion authority during the tenure of former president Abdulla Yameen.
Al Ahram adds:
A top official in the Maldives said Saturday that Islamic faceless myrmidons were responsible for a kaboom earlier this week that critically maimed former President Mohammed Nasheed, as police said they arrested two of four suspects.

Hospital officials said Saturday that Nasheed is conscious and no longer needs breathing support. Two of his bodyguards and two apparent bystanders, including a British citizen, were also maimed in Thursday's blast.

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem told news hounds that Sherlocks still do not know which bully boy group was behind the attack, which left Nasheed, 53, at death's door in an intensive care unit after life-saving surgeries to his head, chest, abdomen and limbs. No group has grabbed credit.

Nasheed, the current Parliament speaker, has been an outspoken critic of religious extremism in the predominantly Sunni Moslem nation, where preaching and practicing other faiths are banned by law. He has also been criticized by religious hard-liners for his closeness to the west and liberal policies.

Police announced Saturday that two men were arrested in connection with the attack, and released photos of two others seeking public assistance in identifying them.

Authorities say a homemade bomb contained ball bearings was attached to a cycle of violence parked near Nasheed's car. The device exploded, possibly with the use of a remote control, as he was about to leave home for an event.

The Maldives has one of the highest per capita numbers of turbans who fought in Syria and Iraq alongside the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not really Moslems....

Authorities announced in January that eight people arrested in November were found to have been planning to attack a school and were in the process of building bombs in a boat at sea. Police said the suspects conducted military training on uninhabited islands and recruited children.
Nasheed: 2021-05-08 Maldives say an explosion that wounded former President MohamedNasheed and four others, including a British national, was an act of terrorism
Nasheed: 2021-05-07 Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed hurt in blast outside home
Nasheed: 2020-11-26 Obama Is a Jerk, and It Comes Through With Every Media Appearance

Maldives police question former president in fraud probe
[Al Jazeera] Abdulla Yameen questioned for first time over allegations of 'illicit financial transactions' while in office.


Ibrahim Mohamed Solih sworn in as new Maldives president
[Al Jazeera] Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih has taken the oath of office before thousands of people and hundreds of foreign dignitaries, vowing to end systematic corruption and investigate alleged human rights
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
abuses under his predecessor, Abdulla Yameen.

Solih received a 21-gun salute after being sworn in on Saturday as the Indian Ocean island nation's seventh president at a special parliamentary assembly at the national football stadium in the capital, Male.

Addressing the crowd of 12,000 people, the 54-year-old pledged to see through his promises to establish justice and equality, as well as "eradicate corruption and theft".

"We need to focus on moving ahead, to take back the rights we have been denied, and save our nation from its dismal condition," he said.

Solih is expected to appoint a 19-member cabinet and name the attorney general later on Saturday.


Maldives’ top court rejects bid by strongman Abdulla Yameen to annul election defeat
[SCMP] Five-judge Supreme Court bench rules that outgoing Maldives President Abdulla Yameen failed to prove election was rigged

Maldives opposition seeks to bar president from leaving country
[Al Jazeera] Lawyers ask police to stop defeated President Abdulla Yameen from leaving country over corruption allegations

Maldives Leader Blames Defeat on 'Disappearing Ink'
[An Nahar] Outgoing Maldives President Abdulla Yameen says disappearing ink and specially treated ballot papers were to blame for his heavy election defeat last month.

The strongman leader of the honeymoon island nation had been expected to romp home in the September 23 poll, with opposition leaders placed in durance vile
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
or exiled, and warnings that he would try to fix the vote.

But in a surprise turn of events, a little-known united opposition candidate, Ibrahim Mohammed Solih, was declared the winner, sparking celebrations across the tropical holiday destination.

Yameen initially said he accepted defeat, and was ready to step down when his term ends on November 17. But last week he launched a Supreme Court challenge, seeking to annul the result.

At a hearing on Sunday which resumed Monday, Yameen's lawyer Mohammed Saleem accused the printer of coating ballot papers with an unnamed substance to make votes marked in Yameen's box vanish.

Saleem said a "special pen with disappearing ink" had been given to people who were going to vote for his client, a news hound at the hearing said.

A lawyer for the Elections Commission, which Yameen accused of colluding with the printer to ensure his defeat, on Sunday denied any wrongdoing, including using any special ink.


US warns Maldives leader against underming vote result
[PULSE.NG] The United States warned Saturday that action could be taken against outgoing Maldives president Abdulla Yameen if he seeks to overturn his election defeat

Former Maldives leader Gayoom freed on bail a week after election
[Al Jazeera] Former Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has been released on bail a week after his estranged half-brother Abdulla Yameen was defeated in a presidential election.

Gayoom, the Indian Ocean island nation's longest-serving leader, and his politician son Faris Maumoon were released on Sunday by the High Court in capital Male after they filed fresh appeals against their controversial convictions.

Gayoom, 80, was tossed in the slammer
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
in February along with the country's chief justice and another Supreme Court judge for attempting to topple Yameen, who declared a 45-day state of emergency to block his impeachment.

The High Court released Gayoom on a bail of 60,000 rufiyaa ($3,900) and he was also ordered not to travel abroad without its permission.

Gayoom was serving a 19-month jail term for obstruction of justice and was also under trial on a "terrorism" charge.

"Finally, they are all home," Gayoom's daughter Yumna Maumoon said on Twitter.

"Hope and pray that all political prisoners will be released soon. The nightmare is finally over Insha Allah. Thank you all who struggled hard for this day."


Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka ready to welcome toppled Maldives strongman
[ARABNEWS] The defeated strongman of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, is welcome in neighboring Sri Lanka, Colombo said Tuesday, two days after his surprise defeat in presidential elections.

Sri Lanka has long been a haven for dissidents from the nearby Maldives over years of political upheaval, including for hundreds of opponents of Yameen since he became president in 2013.

In a phone call on Monday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe "informed Mr. Yameen that he is welcome in Colombo at any time," the premier’s office said.

Wickremesinghe made the call after hosting Yameen’s arch rival and former Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed at a luncheon meeting on Monday.

Abdulla Yameen concedes defeat in Maldives presidential election
Maldives' President Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat after a surprise election win for the opposition in a poll that was billed as a test for democracy in the troubled island nation.

"The citizens of the Maldives had their say ... and I accept that result," Yameen said in a televised speech on Monday.

The 59-year-old, who presided over a five-year crackdown on dissent, said he met with president-elect Ibrahim Mohammed Solih at the president's office in Male shortly before his speech.

"I have congratulated him," Yameen said.

The remarks came hours after the National Elections Commission confirmed a decisive victory for Solih, a long-time member of parliament, who ran representing a coalition of four parties whose leaders are either in jail or exile.

Solih won with 58 percent of the vote, or 134,616 ballots, while Yameen garnered 96,142 votes or 42 percent, the official count showed.

Turnout in the election, in which more than a quarter million people were eligible to vote, was more than 89 percent.


Maldives ex-President-for-Life Gayoom charged with terrorism
[Dhaka Tribune] Maldivian authorities have charged former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and several senior judges with "terrorism" for attempting to topple President Abdulla Yameen, the government said Wednesday.

Eighty-year-old Gayoom and ten others, including the sacked chief justice Abdulla Saeed, were charged under state of emergency laws imposed in the paradise tourist island last month.

Yameen declared the draconian laws in February in a bid to prevent himself from being impeached by the national parliament after he lost his majority following a Supreme Court ruling.

The Prosecutor General’s office said Wednesday that Gayoom, who ruled the country for 30 straight years until 2008, had been charged with attempting an "act of terrorism and obstruction of justice."

Gayoom’s politician son Faris Maumoon and son-in-law were also charged, along with another judge.

The 11 are accused of trying to topple Yameen who came to power following a controversial election run-off in November 2013 when he narrowly defeated former president Mohammed Nasheed.

Yameen declared the emergency on February 5, curtailing the powers of the judiciary and the legislature, after the country’s Supreme Court ruled to quash criminal convictions against high profile opposition politicians.

The ruling would have allowed Nasheed, who lives in exile in London, to return to the archipelago and challenge Yameen for the presidency.

Yameen refused to carry out the court order and instead incarcerated
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
the chief justice and another Supreme Court judge.

The remaining judges revoked the earlier decision to release the MPs while Yameen also stripped parliament of its power to impeach him.

He has resisted international calls to end the state of emergency, release all political prisoners and restore the rule of law.

The crackdown has dented the nation’s image as a popular tourist destination.

Maldives opposition calls for Indian intervention as president imposes emergency rule
[Al Ahram] Maldives President Abdulla Yameen's administration said on Tuesday it had put down a coup after declaring a state of emergency the day before and arresting two Supreme Court justices and opposition figures.

"We have managed to ensure the failure of the coup attempt by some people," Defence Minister Adam Shareef Umar said on state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
While the government seemed in control on Tuesday, it was unclear whether the political crisis in the Indian Ocean island nation, best known as a luxury holiday destination, was over.

On the same day, an exiled former president urged regional power India to send an envoy backed by its military to release Maldivian political prisoners.

The Maldives plunged into crisis last week after the Supreme Court quashed terrorism convictions against nine leading opposition figures including the exiled, first democratically elected president, Mohammed Nasheed.

Tensions came to a head when Yameen's government rejected the ruling and on Monday imposed an emergency and then in the early hours of Tuesday morning tossed in the calaboose
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
the chief justice and another judge of the court. In doing so, the government ignored calls from the United States and the international community to respect the court's verdict.


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