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Islamic radicals gaining strength in Maldives, says Ex-Maldivian President

New Delhi, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 18 (ANI): Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed on Wednesday condemned the dictatorship of Islamic radicals, who have penetrated deep into the system of his country's governance.

Nasheed, currently on a visit to India, said the Islamic radical ideology has no room in Maldives though certain factions are trying to propagate it post the coup.

"We have to have an election because in the absence of that, Islamic radicals are gaining strength in the Maldives. We fought the 2008 presidential elections against them and they lost very badly. We fought parliamentary elections and they sought elections in every single seat of the 77 seats and they lost it all," said Nasheed.

"We fought against them in the local elections where we were contesting 1081 seats and they lost it all. But after the coup they have three portfolios in the cabinet, they are calling the shots in the military and they are consolidating themselves," he added.

In a shocking revelation, Nasheed recalled about the offer of a counter coup by the military, which he declined due to his strong belief in democratic norms.

"A week later (after the coup) the military again came up to me and said they want to have a counter coup, so I thought of this finest keeping idea but that it is not going to help us. We are not worried about losing power. I am not the least bit worried about losing the presidency; that is not the issue here," said Nasheed.

"The issue is democracy must prevail in the Maldives and the people of Maldives must decide who should rule upon them, not the military, not the police," he added.

Nasheed further said that elections are necessary to save the economy from collapsing.

"Elections are necessary because in the absence our economy is going to disintegrate. When we came into government there was a 30 percent budget deficit, inflation was running wide. We were able to reduce that to seven percent within three years. We were able to double government revenue through taxation. When we government there was no tax regime in the Maldives, we introduced income tax, corporate tax, business profit tax and goods and services tax," said Nasheed.

"Through these taxes we were able to implement a social protection programme where we gave benefits for single mothers, where we gave benefits to the disabled, where we gave free medicare to all," he added.

Nasheed, who was ousted in a coup in February this year, is expected to meet the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Monday during his present visit to India as part of his efforts to prove he is the rightful leader of the archipelago nation. (ANI)


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