Maldives opposition urges tourist boycott after vote halted
MALE, Maldives (AFP) - The Maldivian opposition appealed to foreign holidaymakers on Saturday to boycott the upmarket tourist destination as authorities indefinitely postponed a presidential runoff amid mounting international concern.
The runoff had been slated for Saturday between human rights activist Mohamed Nasheed and Mr Abdulla Yameen, a half-brother of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives with an iron fist for three decades before the first elections in 2008.
"It's mainly the tourism profits that go to finance the suppression of democracy in the Maldives," main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesman Hamed Abdul Ghafoor told AFP.
"This is why we appeal to other countries to slap a tourism ban on the Maldives," Mr Ghafoor said as the party extended its protests to resorts in the secluded coral islands with pristine beaches.