Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has announced plans to return to the island nation on November 1 after over two years in exile. Nasheed came to power as the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives in 2008 and became recognized internationally for his leadership on climate change. His presidency ended in 2012 in what many believe was a coup d’état orchestrated by the opposition and supported by the military. He was charged under the Maldives “anti-terrorism” law in 2015—a charge that Amnesty International described as “politically motivated”—before seeking exile in Britain. Last week, the Maldives voted out strongman leader Abdulla Yameen, who has been plagued by accusations of corruption, in favor of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party, the party that Nasheed co-founded. This is Nasheed appearing on Democracy Now! in 2016.
Mohamed Nasheed: “We must get all the opposition groups in the Maldives together and to see how we may be able to get the country back on—back on a democratic path. For that, we have been able to come out with a united opposition, where most of its—most of its shadow leaders are behind bars, in jail. But we have a shadow cabinet that would push for reforms, that would also, hopefully, look to see how we may be able to have a transitional arrangement that would take us to free and fair elections.”