Stephen Zunes : Maldives
Should Britain, the United States and others who claim to be concerned, stand by and allow reactionary forces to stage-manage a phony election, this sends yet another inconsistent and disheartening message to those struggling for peaceful democratic change in the Islamic world and beyond.
Dr. Zunes talks about a number of troubling indicators that major fraud may have occurred in the election held on September 7, which raises questions regarding the integrity of the September 28 runoff.
If western countries are unwilling to place any pressure against a regime of questionable legitimacy, allied with a former dictator and hard-line Islamists, while failing to provide any support for a popularly-elected leader committed to democracy and to nonviolence, what kind of message does that send?
The United States and much of the international community has understandably been focused on increasingly violent conflict in Syria. However, attention also needs to be given to the Muslim people of this Asian nation and their commitment to the power of nonviolent action
The recent ousting of the corrupt and autocratic president of the Maldive Islands, Mahmoud Gayoom, marks another victory in the global struggle for rights and democracy. Gayoom was defeated in a nationwide election on 28 October after ruling the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago as his personal fiefdom for more than thirty years.