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Maldives President resigns following protests

[The Sunday Leader.lk, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 08:36 No Comment]

Maldives’ President Mohamed Nasheed arrives at the morning session of United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen December 18, 2009. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed resigned on Tuesday following overnight protests and demonstrations, the Maldives High Commission in Colombo said.

A spokesman at the High Commission said that the Vice President of the country, Dr. Mohommad Wahid, was now the acting President.

A spokesman for the Maldives opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) told The Sunday Leader earlier that a majority of the police and army were also backing the removal of Nasheed from power.

DQP spokesman Mohhomad Malech Jamal said that there were now celebrations in Male following the announcement that Nasheed had resigned.

He said that the Male international airport and the State broadcaster were also under the control of the police and army.

Violence broke out on Monday night as the army and police were deployed to break up protestors gathered at Republic Square.

Jamal claimed that a majority of the policemen later supported the protest seeking the removal of Nasheed and this led to a confrontation between the army and police.

“About 800 Police officers gathered at the Republic Square. Several of them are calling for the resignation of President Nasheed. Two Police Officers are issuing commands to these officers separately,” Jamal said.

The country’s Supreme Court was to rule on Tuesday on the legitimacy of Nasheed’s Presidency as pressure mounted for him to step down

The protests began after the President ordered the arrest of a top criminal court judge over allegations of corruption.

[Full Coverage]

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