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Peace returns after Maldives leader quits amid protests (3)

(Xinhua)

08:14, February 09, 2012

<b>DEEP SOCIO-ECONOMIC REASONS</b>

The arrest of the judge is seen as the last straw amid growing discontent with Nasheed, with deeper and more profound reasons believed to be behind his ouster.

Among them is religion. As a country whose only official religion is Islam, some religious groups have accused Nasheed of failing to effectively maintain the country's Islamic traditions.

A faltering economy added to the public discontent. After taking office in 2008, Nasheed instituted a raft of radical economic reforms, including the floating of its currency and new taxes. The rushing in of those reforms have hurt the country's economy.

The floating of the exchange rate has caused a sharp depreciation of the local currency against the U.S. dollar. This has pushed up living costs for Maldivians, who rely on imports for many of their daily necessities.

Nasheed has also long suffered from shaky political support. In 2008, he ended the first round of the presidential election in a distant second with only 25 percent of the vote against incumbent President Gayoom, who secured 47 percent. Thanks to support from eliminated candidates, Nasheed surprisingly won the second-round runoff. However, those political allies deserted him soon after he took office.

Many Maldivians are not shocked by his resignation. They reckon that if the president had lost public support, it was natural and reasonable for him to leave.

【1】 【2】 【3】

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