Exiled Maldives leader to stand for election

Mohamed Nasheed said he had decided to challenge President Abdullah Yameen in 2018 presidential elections following talks this week in Colombo with his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Exiled Maldives leader to stand for election

World Bulletin / News Desk

The exiled former leader of the Maldives announced Thursday he would return to run for election as president of the troubled Indian Ocean nation, despite facing jail after a controversial conviction on terror-related charges.

"We have decided that the MDP will produce a candidate, I am hopeful to be that candidate," the 49-year-old told reporters in Colombo after talks with party leaders who are living in exile in the Sri Lankan capital.

Nasheed is almost certain to be arrested on return to the Indian Ocean archipelago, whose reputation as an upmarket honeymoon destination has been battered by years of political unrest.

He would be able to contest party primaries from outside the country, but would need to return to Male for the election.

The Maldives constitution bars Nasheed from being a candidate because of a 2015 criminal conviction.

But the former leader expects the restriction to be lifted in response to international pressure.

A United Nations panel has ruled that his conviction and jailing for 13 years on a terrorism charge was illegal and ordered Yameen's regime to pay him compensation.

He went to Britain for medical treatment in January 2016 and has lived there for the past year after being granted political asylum.

Nasheed was the first democratically elected president of the Maldives in 2008 after he beat long-time president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who had ruled the island for three straight decades. Gayoom is the half brother of the current incumbent.

Yameen narrowly beat Nasheed at a controversial run off election in November 2013.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Şubat 2017, 12:23