Mohamed Nasheed

Nasheed, Mohamed (mōhäˈmĕd näshēdˈ) [key], 1967–, Maldivian political leader. A journalist, he often ran afoul of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and was imprisoned several times. "Anni" was first elected to parliament in 1999, but lost his seat (2001) due to a theft prosecution that was seen as politically motivated. In 2003, after he called for an autopsy on a teenage boy who had died in prison and was later found to have been tortured to death, civil unrest ensued; he went into self-imposed exile and co-founded the Maldivian Democratic party (MDP). Returning to the Maldives in 2005, he was arrested and charged with terrorism, provoking more civil unrest. In 2008 he won a runoff vote against Gayoom in the country's first democratic elections and became president; he became known internationally for calling attention to the effect of climate change on small island nations. Conflict both with parliament, where the MDP lacked a majority, and with the courts aided an opposition resurgence and led to increasing antigovernment protests early in 2012. As police joined the protests, Nasheed was forced to step down; Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan succeeded him. Nasheed won the 2013 presidential election's first round but failed to win the runoff.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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