Mohamed Waheed consolidates power in Maldives

Saturday, 28 April 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Maldives parliament has approved the president’s nominees for vice-president and the cabinet after a controversial transfer of power.

The vote is a clear indication of President Mohamed Waheed’s consolidation of power amid opposition allegations that he was part of a coup that unseated the Indian Ocean archipelago’s former president, Mohamed Nasheed.

A government statement said MPs on Wednesday approved tourist resort owner Waheed Deen as vice-president. A 14-member cabinet was also approved by a majority of the 77 parliament members.

Mohamed Waheed took over when Nasheed resigned after weeks of public protests and eroding support from the police and military. Nasheed, who became the Maldives’ first democratically elected president in 2008 after 30 years of autocratic rule, claims he was forced to resign at gunpoint and has challenged Waheed to resign and order an immediate election.

Waheed said last week he would call an election in July 2013, the earliest permitted by the constitution. The vote was originally scheduled for late 2013.

Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic party boycotted the parliamentary vote.