Crisis in Maldives: Police issue warrant for ousted president
The former president of the Maldives awaited arrest in his house on Thursday, vowing to stay and fight against the government he says ousted him in a coup.
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The new defense minister vowed to punish those responsible for Wednesday's violence, calling the destruction "acts of terrorism."Skip to next paragraph
"The Maldives national defense force remains vigilant in enforcing the law and order and upholding the constitution of the Maldives," Mohammed Nazin told reporters Thursday, barely 12 hours into his new job.
Nasheed's next move was not clear Thursday evening, with some of his statements indicating he might wait to press his cause in next year's elections.
"I'm not thinking about leaving the country ... If I leave the whole country will go to the dogs," he told The Associated Press.
"The ballot should decide, not battles." He said he was confident he would win in the 2013 elections.
Nasheed's party insisted his ouster was engineered by rogue elements of the police and supporters of the country's former autocratic leader, whom Nasheed defeated in 2008. Others blamed Islamic extremists.
Hassan, who was Nasheed's vice president, has denied claims of a plot to oust Nasheed and called for a unity coalition to be formed to help it recover.
The military also denied that it forced Nasheed to resign at gunpoint. "There is no officer in the military that would point a gun toward the president," said Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Didi. "The military did not call for his resignation, he resigned voluntarily."
Hassan, who had promised to protect Nasheed from retribution, said his predecessor was not under any restriction and was free to leave the country. However, he said he would not interfere with any police or court action against Nasheed.
Nasheed's wife arrived Wednesday afternoon in nearby Sri Lanka, according to Bandula Jayasekara, the Sri Lankan presidential spokesman.
Nasheed's resignation marked a stunning fall for the former human rights campaigner who had been jailed for his activism under the 30-year rule of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Nasheed also became an environmental celebrity for urging global action against climate change, warning that rising sea levels would inundate his archipelago nation.
Over the past year, Nasheed was battered by protests over soaring prices and demands for more religiously conservative policies. Last month, Nasheed's government arrested the nation's top criminal court judge for freeing a government critic and refused to release him as protests grew.
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