Feb. 8 - The new president of the Maldives says the change of government in the Indian Ocean island resort was no coup. Nick Rowlands reports.
At his first news conference since assuming power on Tuesday, the new President of the Maldives stresses that it was not a coup d'etat, and that he is consulting with the major political parties to form a new government. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF MALDIVES MOHAMED WAHEED HASSAN MANIK SAYING: "I am optimistic that by the end of today I will at least, first of all, have an indication how many parties are ready to participate, second, their suggestions for nominations." Former vice president Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was installed as president following three weeks of opposition protests which culminated in a police revolt. Former president Mohamed Nasheed, the man credited with bringing democracy to the Indian Ocean archipelago, had drawn opposition fire for ordering the arrest by the military of a judge he claimed was corrupt. The subsequent weeks of protests ended with the storming of the military headquarters, and the resignation of President Nasheed who said he refused to use force to quell the unrest. President Waheed said the former president was accountable for the breach of law and had to take responsibility for it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF MALDIVES MOHAMED WAHEED HASSAN MANIK SAYING: "When a chief judge of the courts was unlawfully detained by the military, everybody, I think, including international organisations, could not believe that this would happen in a modern democracy." Just 24 hours after the attack by police and opposition protesters on the military headquarters and the seizure of the state television station, the streets of the Maldives capital appeared calm. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.