Maldives Ex-President: I Was Ousted at Gunpoint

Protests erupt after Mohamed Nasheed's speech

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 8, 2012 8:54 AM CST

(Newser) – Protests erupted in Maldives today after Mohamed Nasheed said he'd been forced to resign the presidency at gunpoint. Nasheed stepped down yesterday, handing power to VP Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, saying he was "not a person who wishes to rule with the use of power." But today he told reporters a different story. "There were guns all around me and they told me they wouldn't hesitate to use them if I didn't resign," he said, according to Reuters.

Nasheed called for an investigation, and for Waheed to step down. Hundreds of Nasheed's supporters poured onto the streets, and were met with police firing tear gas and swinging batons. The Maldivian Democratic Party said Nasheed himself had been among the protesters and was beaten by police. Waheed, meanwhile, said he was working on his Cabinet picks, and proclaimed his innocence. "Do I look like someone who will bring about a coup d'etat?" he asked. "There was no plan. I was not prepared at all."

An anti-government protester throws back a teargas cannister to police in the capital island Male on February 8, 2012.
An anti-government protester throws back a teargas cannister to police in the capital island Male on February 8, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Maldivian police forcefully detain a protester in the capital island Male on February 8, 2012 as they moved to push back thousands of  activists loyal to ex-president Mohamed Nasheed.
Maldivian police forcefully detain a protester in the capital island Male on February 8, 2012 as they moved to push back thousands of activists loyal to ex-president Mohamed Nasheed.   (Getty Images)
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