“There is no doubt that former President Nasheed was forced to quit by the machinations of a few disgruntled- serving and retired security personnel and Islamists with a strong backing of those political leaders opposed to Nasheed and his party,” writes Dr S Chandrasekharan for Eurasia Review.
As someone had said, it was the result of a nexus amongst the money bags, Islamists and those in opposition. And there was Gayoom all over directing from behind. Yet the odds for having early elections appear to be not so bright and he needs to re-examine his own strategy now.
The daily processions growing in numbers in the last days of Nasheed’s regime before February 7th gave an indication that Nasheed could not have withstood the “onslaught.”
However right Nasheed may be in continuing with the protests calling for early elections, he should in my view consider the following points in working out a strategy that would, not necessarily bring him back to power but to “restore democracy” as he himself had pointed out.
- So far the MDP has been able to organise impressive protests in Male and other places. The April 20 rally of MDP calling for Speaker’s resignation saw a gathering of about 10,000. The May day rally on 1st May turned out to be another big protest rally. There have been minor rallies in the evenings between 5.30 and 7.30. The students who are taking the final examination in Male have protested about the disturbances and the rallies are being conducted in a very low key. Differences within the party have arisen over the efficacy of continued street protests. The question is whether Nasheed could sustain the street protests for long when the Government is in no mood to relent? It is going to be difficult and the MDP may in due course lose sympathy of the people and may also see attrition from the party itself. ( The latter has already happened)
- Nasheed’s visit to India has not been much of a success. He met the Prime minister on the 23rd along with his trusted colleagues of the party. On the eve of his meeting the external affairs ministry indicated India’s position “that engagement of all stake holders . . . will facilitate a constructive dialogue among all the political parties and help in bringing stability . . .” The PM in his meeting with Nasheed stressed on the road map of Feb 16 given by the Indian foreign secretary which calls for early elections. The road map is now dead and gone and India is neither in a position nor will it even try to resurrect the road map.