The Maldives stand on a knife edge. At stake is its hard-won liberal democracy, forged from the ruins of a brutal, 30-year dictatorship – a period that was synonymous with serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and torture.
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom‘s rule was eventually ended in 2008, by a democratic vote in which I was elected. But it is important that the outside world clearly understands that Gayoom, his allies and his henchmen are back. It was they who established, late last year, the “December coalition” of Islamic extremists who accused my government of being controlled by “Jews” and “Christians” and used incitement to religious hatred and violence as political tools.… Seguir leyendo »
Dictatorships don’t always die when the dictator leaves office. The wave of revolutions that toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen last year was certainly cause for hope. But the people of those countries should be aware that, long after the revolutions, powerful networks of regime loyalists can remain behind and can attempt to strangle their nascent democracies.
I learned this lesson quickly. My country, the Maldives, voted out President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, its iron-fisted ruler, back in 2008, in historic elections that swept away three decades of his authoritarian rule. And yet the dictatorship bequeathed to the infant democracy a looted treasury, a ballooning budget deficit and a rotten judiciary.… Seguir leyendo »