After political turmoil, Maldivians go to polls peacefully
MALE, Maldives (AP) - Voters in the Maldives went to the polls on Saturday in the hope that questions about the legitimacy of their government will finally be answered 19 months after the ouster of the first democratically elected president in the country known for its luxury island resorts.
About 240,000 people were eligible to vote in the election to pick a leader from among four candidates, including the country's first democratically elected president - who says he was ousted in a coup d'etat.
Mr Mohamed Nasheed, who won the country's first multi-party election in 2008, ending a 30-year autocracy, resigned last year after weeks of public protests and slipping support from the military and the police. He later said he was forced to resign at gunpoint by mutinying security forces and politicians backed by the country's former autocrat.
Though a domestic commission of inquiry has dismissed Mr Nasheed's claim, the country has been in political turmoil ever since. Mr Nasheed has repeatedly dismissed as illegal the government of his former vice-president - now President Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who is also a candidate.