Shifting Tides in South Asia: Tumult in the Maldives

Issue Date April 2014
Volume 25
Issue 2
Page Numbers 164-170
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Maldives held its first free and competitive elections in 2008. Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) won the election, ending the 30-year presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. An opposition-led coup on 7 February 2012 and the victory of Gayoom’s half-brother, Yameen Abdul Gayoom of the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) in the 2013 presidential elections signaled a return to pre-2008 politics. Challenges to consolidating democracy are manifold: a judiciary and a police force that remain loyal to Gayoom and his cronies; a rising trend of Muslim Nationalism fostered by increasing Islamic extremism and opportunistic politicians; and massive wealth and income inequalities sustained by a culture of patronage and an economy dependent on a high-end tourism industry.

About the Author

Fathima Musthaq is a graduate student in political science at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research interests are in the field of comparative political economy, with a special focus on how globalization shapes the interests and power of local actors in the developing world. She was born and raised in the Maldives.

View all work by Fathima Musthaq