In early February 2018, the island republic of the Maldives descended into political chaos as former President Abdulla Yameen used a state of emergency to crack down on the opposition. The region watched as Yameen suppressed dissent, imprisoned members of the Supreme Court and attacked members of the independent press. Meanwhile, both Chinese and Indian ships began to conduct exercises nearby, the first time Chinese navy vessels had entered the Indian Ocean in four years.
In September 2018, Maldivians went to the polls in unprecedented levels to take their authoritarian leader out of office. Pledging more transparency in government and an obligation to human rights, opposition candidate Ibrahim Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party won by a margin of 17 percent. Maldivians have made it clear what direction they want the country to move towards. But will the country be able to secure a prosperous, stable and free future?
Our hosts speak to Special Representative to President Solih and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Naseem; IRI’s Country Director in the Maldives John Kachtik; and the Minister of Planning and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam.