Maldives in grip of political crisis

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Male/Colombo: Indian Ocean archipelago of Maldives was in grip of a political crisis as a power struggle intensi-fied between President Mohammad Nasheed and the opposition controlled parliament, leaving the country without an effective government.

With the cabinet resigning en-masse over what they describe as “hijacking the powers of the executive,” the National Defense Forces guardsmen patrolled the streets amid reports of police carrying out arrests of some leading political figures.

Police arrested the half brother of former President Mohd Abdul Gayoom and his former Finance Minister on charges of bribing the MPs to destabilize the government.

The rebellion is led by the deputy leader of the Majlis Umar Naseer of the DRP party who has sought a no confidence motion against the cabinet, sources said.

Nasheed, 43, who came to power in 2008 as the Island nation’s first democratically elected President, blamed the opposition for blocking his efforts to govern and undermining the authority of the executive.

Nasheed said; he was investigating the reasons why the Majlis is preventing Cabinet Ministers from performing their duties.

The Maldivan Majlis or Parliament has 77 members. While Nasheed’s party has 32 members, the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party has 34 seats and backing of some independents.

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