A new government in the Maldives has won two by-elections, according to results on Sunday, defeating the party of former President Mohamed Nasheed who was unseated in February and, his party said, bolstering its call for an early presidential poll. The ouster of Nasheed, the islands’ first democratically elected president, dented the Indian Ocean archipelago’s reputation as a laid-back luxury tourist paradise. Nasheed and his party say the new government of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik is illegitimate and they have been demanding an early presidential election.
The Commonwealth group of mostly former British colonies suspended the Maldives from its democracy watchdog group in February and has backed early elections to end any question over the legality of the transfer of power. But Waheed has said an early presidential poll needs constitutional changes and improvements in the Election Commission.