Hundreds of Maldivians protested on Sunday demanding the arrest of defeated President Abdulla Yameen as its top court began to hear a petition challenging the outcome of last’s month election in the island nation. The tourist archipelago has been in political turmoil since February, when a state of emergency was imposed by Yameen, whose critics have accused him of running Maldives with an iron fist, jailing political opponents and Supreme Court judges. “This is our right. They can’t change it. They can’t play around with the votes,” Abidha Afeef, a 55-year old protester told Reuters. “Yameen has to go.”
Yameen initially conceded defeat last month after an official count showed joint opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had won the election by a margin of 16.8 percent in a surprise result.
The Maldives Election Commission said the vote was free and fair, with turnout of 89.2 percent. And the opposition has been trying to secure a smooth transition of power, due on Nov. 17.