Maldives mutiny forces out Prez

The Maldives’ first democratically elected President resigned Tuesday after a police mutiny described as an “attempted coup”, capping weeks of upheaval.
“It will be better for the country if I resign. I don’t want to (rule) with an iron fist,” President Mohamed Nasheed said at a televised press conference.
The announcement came after Mr Nasheed appeared to have lost the support of his military which, according to Army spokesman Col. Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef, had advised him to step down. “The President on his own initiative came to headquarters for advice,” Col. Latheef said, denying he was forced out.
Mr Nasheed, who faced three weeks of protests after the arrest of the Chief Justice, spent Tuesday afternoon at his residence before being escorted to a family home, his brother Nazim Sattar said.
“The President didn’t want to use force to stay on, so he resigned,” Mr Sattar said. “But it was a coup. The police went against the state... and at least part of the military is backing the Opposition.”
Vice-President Mohamed Waheed, who clashed with Mr Nasheed over the Chief Justice’s detention, was sworn in as President.
The dramatic day began in the early hours when a group of policeman refused orders to break up an anti-government protest. Sources in Mr Nasheed’s office said members of his Maldivian Democratic Party were assaulted by officers, who later took over the state television station.

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