The forgotten coup in the Maldives: Conservativehome

It all came to an end on February 7 when Nasheed was forced to resign, effectively at gunpoint, writes political and digital strategist Samuel Coates for Conservativehome.

“Only one side had the luxury of making advance preparations for handling the aftermath, so inevitably the true nature of his resignation was lost in the fog of war. For the critical first 48hrs, history was written by the victor — almost everyone fell for the initial spin that Nasheed had taken it upon himself to resign due to public pressure and a police revolt.

That anyone had an inkling of what was really going on at that time was in large part down to Nasheed’s British international press adviser, Paul Roberts — who managed to blow the whistle about the coup to a few journalists whilst hiding in a President’s Office toilet cubicle, before fleeing the country. William Hague was the first major figure to condemn the situation and an article for ConHome by MPs John Glen and Karen Lumley was one of the first to tell it how it was. But overall international reaction was muted and mixed — the US and India recognised the new government immediately.

Since then, the world has kept turning and few seem to remember or care what happened in what is a strategically insignificant nation. Shortly afterwards, President Waheed had the pleasure of joining other Commonwealth leaders for dinner with the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee. As they politely tucked into brie and avocado terrine, wild sea bass and apple crumble soufflé, one wonders if Her Majesty was aware that Waheed’s allies had been publicly trashing her days before.

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