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Maldives' president quits amid unrest


Maldives' president quits amid unrest

Weeks of opposition protests and a police mutiny have sparked a shake-up in the Maldives with the swearing in of a new head of state.

Vice-President Waheed Hassan stepped up to the top job amid claims that his predecessor had been forced out in a coup earlier in the day.

The new president’s office denies there was any coup. It says the departure of Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically-elected president, was the wish of the people.

Known more as a holiday paradise than a political hotspot, the Maldives have been gripped by tension over the arrest of a senior judge last month.

President Mohamed Nasheed announced his resignation after rebel police took control of the state broadcast centre.

Known for his efforts to protect the low-lying islands from climate change, Nasheed ordered the judge’s arrest over claims he was politically biased.