Timeline of political events leading up to Maldives election

In this Nov. 17, 2013, file photo, Maldives' newly elected President Yaamin Abdul Gayoom recites the oath during his inauguration in Male, Maldives. (AP)
Updated 21 September 2018

Timeline of political events leading up to Maldives election

MALE: The Maldives on Sunday holds its third-ever multiparty presidential election, as political tumult continues a decade after democracy was introduced to the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Here are some key moments in the Maldives’ recent political history:

January: A Boy Scout foils an attempted assassination of the Maldives’ long-time autocratic ruler, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, blocking a knife attack with his bare hands.
August: Gayoom signs a new constitution allowing multiparty elections and other democratic reforms. The constitution says Islam is the only religion Maldivians can legally practice.
October: In the country’s first multiparty election, Mohamed Nasheed, a former political prisoner, defeats Gayoom.

May: Police break up a protest demanding Nasheed’s resignation. Dozens of people are injured and many arrested.
September: Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom, ex-President Gayoom’s half-brother, founds the Progressive Party of the Maldives.

January: The military arrests a top criminal court judge after he released an opposition leader who had been detained without warrant for allegedly defaming the government. The judge’s arrest prompts all courts to boycott sessions.
February: Nasheed resigns after a police mutiny and weeks of demonstrations over the judge’s arrest. Vice President Mohamed Waheed is sworn in as new head of state.
July: Nasheed is charged with illegally ordering the judge’s arrest.

September: Nasheed wins first round of presidential elections but without a clear majority.
October: Supreme Court annuls first-round result after a candidate alleges irregularities.
November: Yameen wins runoff election.

February: Nasheed is arrested on terrorism charges. Supporters protest in the capital.
March: Nasheed is sentenced to 13 years in prison in a trial widely seen as lacking due process.
September: An explosion on President Yameen’s boat injures his wife, aide and bodyguard. Authorities call it an assassination attempt.
October: Vice President Ahmed Adeeb is arrested on charges of involvement in the alleged assassination attempt.

January: Nasheed is granted permission to travel to Britain for spinal surgery.
May: UK grants Nasheed refugee status.
June: Adeeb is convicted of plotting to assassinate Yameen and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
August: Authorities issue arrest warrant for Nasheed for failing to return to Maldives.
September: Nasheed allies with former President Gayoom to challenge Yameen.
October: Maldives leaves the British Commonwealth, saying the group has sought to interfere in its politics. Six ruling party lawmakers defect to the opposition to challenge Yameen’s rule.

February: From exile in London, Nasheed says he plans to contest 2018 presidential election despite his outstanding prison sentence in Maldives.
March: A bid by opposition lawmakers to wrest control of Maldives’ Parliament fails.
July: Security forces lock down Parliament after opposition lawmakers storm the compound in an attempt to prevent a vote to impeach the parliamentary speaker.
August: Opposition lawmaker Qasim Ibrahim is jailed for more than three years on charges of bribery and plotting to overthrow the government.

February: Supreme Court orders the release of convicted politicians, including Nasheed. The government says it will not enforce the order and declares a state of emergency. Security forces storm the Supreme Court and arrest two justices. Later, they arrest Gayoom. Authorities accuse them of plotting to overthrow the government. Dozens are injured and arrested when police break up nationwide protests demanding Yameen’s resignation.
March: Authorities charge Gayoom and the two justices with terrorism. Yameen lifts the 45-day state of emergency.
May: The justices are sentenced to more than 19 months in prison on charges of influencing lower court decisions.
June: A court sentences Gayoom to 19 months in prison for failing to cooperate with a police investigation.
July: Opposition alliance names lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih from the Maldivian Democratic Party as its candidate for president after Nasheed abandons plans to contest the election.
August: Solih says he fears the government will rig the election.
September: The US threatens to sanction Maldives officials if the elections are not free and fair.

4 shot, 2 arrested at Raptors rally in Toronto: Police

Updated 49 sec ago

4 shot, 2 arrested at Raptors rally in Toronto: Police

TORONTO: Four people were shot and wounded at a rally Monday for the NBA champion Raptors, and two people were arrested “with firearms,” police said.
Droves of Raptors fans ran from the shooting in a stampede from the City Hall square, which was packed with tens of thousands of people. A million or more fans earlier packed downtown Toronto for a parade for the Raptors, raising concerns about safety and overcrowding.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said four people suffered gunshot wounds but said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Others suffered minor injuries as they tried to get away from the shooting, said Saunders, who asked for witnesses and people who might have video to come forward and help investigators.
“We do have people arrested with firearms and that’s the start of the investigation,” Saunders said.
Asked if it was a targeted shooting or terrorism-related, police spokeswoman Allison Sparkes said the investigation was ongoing.
During a speech from one of the team owners, the host of the rally interrupted the proceedings to alert the crowd to an emergency and asked for calm. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Toronto Mayor John Tory, NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and other players were among those on stage at the time.
“I want to make sure everyone stays calm,” said the host, sportscaster Matt Devlin. “This is serious. Everyone stay calm ... There is an emergency being dealt with.”
Those on stage remained in place and speeches resumed shortly after.
Andrew Singh said he heard what appeared to be gunshots and that a woman was wounded before people started scrambling.
“We just saw the girl drop to the floor and the guy running off,” the 29-year-old said. “All I heard was, ‘bop bop bop.’“
Mike Mudidi said he was enjoying the celebrations when he heard screams behind him that someone had pulled out a gun. He said he froze as people started running in all directions.
“I just grabbed my buddies’ hands and ran,” he said.
Raptors fan Phil D’Souza said the violence left a bad taste in his mouth, and he questioned whether he would attend a similar event in the future.
“You couldn’t see the shooter but it was that kind of chaos where you’re just expecting to see somebody coming around the corner. It was that kind of vibe,” D’Souza said.
Another fan said the stampede was scary.
“When you see a bunch of people coming at you, you don’t know what to do, whether to run or not. You don’t want to get stampeded over,” Sam Sunday said.
Trudeau’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the shooting near the prime minister.
“We never comment on matters relating to the PM’s security,” Eleanore Catenaro said.
Tory, the mayor, thanked police for their quick response and said he was angered by the shooting.
“It is disappointing and I’m sure a source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge it at what was otherwise a joyous celebration,” Tory said in a statement. “I hope those found responsible will be held to account to the full extent that the law permits. I want to commend and thank the millions of other people who happily and peacefully celebrated our beloved Toronto Raptors.”
Tory previously urged every city resident to come celebrate the Raptors’ first championship and declared Monday as “We The North Day,” after the franchise’s slogan.
“Toronto, more than a million of us flooded the streets today to celebrate our Raptors,” city councilman Joe Cressy tweeted. “People of all every age, every race, every religion — our City. As awful as the shooting was and terrifying for many in the crowd afterwards, don’t let it take away from our moment.”
Some 1.5 million fans withstood packed conditions to attend the parade. Nicolas Caramanna, 21, said the crowd started to get rowdy shortly after he arrived at 9 a.m.
Many others chose to miss school or work. Cypher Sabanal, 15, said his mom let him skip class to attend the celebration.
John Moreira called in sick to work so he could be part of Toronto’s first celebration of this magnitude since the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.
“I told my boss I wanted to be at the parade and he said there wasn’t much he could do if I called in sick, so that’s exactly what I did,” the 31-year-old said.
As the parade inched forward — discernibly behind schedule — a number of Raptors could not help but marvel at the fan response.
“It’s been amazing,” Leonard said. “Thank you Toronto, thank you Canada for the support. We did it.”
Several fans were seen carrying signs imploring Leonard to re-sign with the Raptors. He will be a free agent this summer.
Kyle Lowry, the team’s longest-tenured player, hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy while his teammates smoked cigars.
“This is unbelievable,” he said.