News that the first democratically elected president of the Maldives has stepped down will worry environmental campaigners across the world. Mohamed Nasheed, a former human rights activist who has travelled the world urging leaders to do more about climate change, announced his resignation Tuesday, following weeks of increasingly violent protests over his attempt to arrest a senior judge.
While a number of news outlets have reported the protests as a police-led "coup", or have cast this as a victory for hardline Islamist groups, others have offered more context, pointing out that while President Nasheed was a groundbreaking campaigner on climate change, his bid to overturn a decision of the courts raised some legitimate democratic concerns:
Nasheed fell out of public favour after he ordered the military to arrest Abdulla Mohamed, the chief judge of the criminal court.
The arrest came after the judge ordered the release of a government critic, calling his arrest illegal.
The vice-president, supreme court, human rights commission, judicial services commission and the office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights have all called for Mohamed to be released.
The government accused the judge of political bias and corruption. It said the country's judicial system had failed and called on the UN to help solve the crisis...
Further reading: Jason Burke's Guardian report.