Nasheed defends alliance with arch nemesis Gayoom

Self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed has defended the once unimaginable with arguably his arch nemesis and predecessor Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The main opposition leaders including former presidents Gayoom and Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla inked pact to form what they called a 'reform alliance'.

Nasheed lives in self imposed exile most recently in Sri Lanka after he was allowed to leave to the UK on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal following his jailing on terrorism charges.

In an extensive interview with 'The Diplomat' Nasheed shed light on the fresh political strife in the archipelago following the Supreme Court order releasing him and eight other political prisoners on February 1.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

Last week, prosecutors have got the country's criminal court to remand the suspects until the end of their respective trials which otherwise would have forced authorities to release them after the emergency state ended.

The most high-profile figures remanded until the end of the trial included Gayoom, chief justice Abdulla Saeed and top court judge Ali Hameed - all now formally charged with terrorism over the alleged plot to overthrow the government.

Speaking on his alliance with the now jailed former strongman, Nasheed said the one fierce rivals had now found "common ground."

"President Gayoom, myself, and every single opposition leader as well, every single businessman, and every single person in our society has learnt so much in the last 10-15 years, that other societies probably go through in a century. We have commonality, which is pluralistic democracy," Nasheed explained.

"It’s in President Gayoom’s interest to have strong political parties, and in our interest to have a strong political party in the Maldives. So we have enough common ground to work on."