In recent months the Maldives’ fledgling democracy has proved to be self-incapacitating more than progressive, reads an article in the the ‘Newsbook’ of last week’s Economist magazine.
Fed up with an opposition-led parliament, which tends to block its every move, this week the archipelago’s entire cabinet resigned in protest. Political deadlock has ensued.
The president, Mohamed Nasheed, has stayed put, alongside his vice-president. He claims that an informal alliance of lawmakers is sabotaging his every proposal; an aide described it as “scorched-earth politics”.
The opposition has already passed an amendment which allows it to veto every lending or leasing agreement made between the government and an overseas party. Thus in one fell swoop it was able to scupper Mr Nasheed’s planned privatisation of the capital’s airport and much else besides.
Hopes for foreign investment—at the core of the new government’s ambitions and an essential part of its effort to plug the fiscal deficit—have been dashed.