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Nasheed vows to end pres Yameen's govt to hold free and fair polls

Jailed former president Mohamed Nasheed on Thursday reiterated his pledge to end incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's government and pave the way for free and fair elections in the Maldives.

Nasheed was jailed on terror charges after he was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison over the arbitrary detention of a sitting judge while he was president.

He now lives in self imposed exile in the UK after he was allowed to leave to Britain on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal in January last year.

After months of political strife which led to the jailing of several top politicians over contentious charges, the main opposition leaders including former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Nasheed penned a historic treaty to work against the government.

The opposition has since diverted its focus to weaken the government through the parliament. The efforts received a major boost on Monday, after the opposition wrested parliament control from the government, securing the signatures of 45 lawmakers to file a fresh censure motion to unseat the parliament speaker.

After the now opposition coalition in March had filed a second motion to unseat speaker Abdulla Maseeh, the government had engineered an amendment to the parliament rules of procedure raising the number of lawmaker signatures required to file a censure motion against the speaker and his deputy from 15 to 42.

The opposition had filed the third censure motion against Maseeh with 45 lawmakers which included ten lawmakers from the ruling party.

On the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the ex-president said the recent turn in Maldives' political landscape was down to the relentless and determined reform efforts of the opposition coalition.

The globally renowned rights activist assured the people that the opposition would establish a democratic government, de-politicize the courts and the security forces, curb rising crime and hold inclusive, free and fair elections.

He said president Yameen has gradually lost the support of the people and the parliament.

"President Yameen's government is crumbling. He lost the local council elections and lost the government majority in parliament. He has lost everything," Nasheed stressed.

Amid the latest political strife, Nasheed arrived in neighbouring Sri Lanka on Wednesday on his third visit since his self exposed exile.

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