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Ex-President Nasheed returns to Maldives after 3 years

01 November 2018, MVT 14:43
President Elect-Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, former President Mohamed Nasheed and his wife Laila Ali arriving in Maldives. PHOTO: MOHAMED ABDULLA SHAFEEG
01 November 2018, MVT 14:43

Former President Mohamed Nasheed returns to Maldives after three years in self-exile.

Nasheed was convicted of terrorism and convicted for 13 years. He was later granted permission to leave the country for medical treatment in 2016.

14:39

Lawyer Hisaan Hussain tweeted a picture of President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Former President Nasheed together in the plane.

14:47

Tweet translation: "He has arrived, praise be to God."

Several leading members of the opposition coalition were waiting in the VIP terminal of the Velana International Airport (VIA) to welcome Nasheed.

Supporters of Nasheed and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have planned to host several activities in Male' to celebrate.

People from various islands came to the capital to join in on the celebrations.

14:58

Opposition Coalition memebers welcoming former President Mohamed Nasheed. PHOTO: MIHAARU

Members of the coalition welcoming Nasheed.

President-Elect Solih said that this is a very happy day. He added that as a result of the hard work of many, it is evident yet again that hope has not been lost.

"We see happiness on the face of every single person", said Solih.

15:41

A large number of supporters have gathered at the Izzudheen Jetty, donning special yellow t-shirts with slogans and banners, to greet Nasheed.

16:00

Nasheed arrive in Male, receiving a thunderous welcome from the supporters gathered near Izzudheen Jetty. The former present proceeds to shake hands with and greet the people.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed (R-2) on the speedboat to Male. PHOTO/MIHAARU

16:15

Nasheed is accompanied by his wife Laila Ali, President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Vice President-Elect Faisal Naseem and Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim. He begins to make his way towards MDP's main hub, located by the Artificial Beach on the eastern coast of Male.

Large numbers of his supporters are following him on the route along Chaandhanee Magu and the main road of Majeedhee Magu, while several civilians also shout greetings from the windows and balconies of the buildings on either side of the roads.

17:02

Nasheed arrives at Artificial Beach, which has been prepared to receive him. He greets and shakes hands with the people gathered in the area.

Supporters hold up banners reading 'We [heart] Anni", referring to former President Mohamed Nasheed by the affectionate nickname he is commonly known by. PHOTO/MIHAARU

17:06

Religiously conservative Adhaalath Party's leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla arrives to greet Nasheed.

The religious scholar, who had been serving 12 years in jail over allegedly inciting violence in a major opposition rally in 2015, was released by the Supreme Court earlier on Thursday afternoon.

17:08

Amidst cheers of "Anni" by the supporters, a reference to the affectionate nickname the former president is known by, Nasheed addresses the crowd:

You, the people, have brought the Maldives to safety, thank you.

17:11

Nasheed: Maldivians were an example to the world in the presidential election. They proved that they are not one to lose hope.

Maldivians showed what they wanted on September 23 (polling day); they showed the world that they will not stand for corruption, dictatorship and injustice; that they want an Islamic democracy.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed gestures as he steps up to the podium to address the crowd gathered to welcome him at Artificial Beach. PHOTO/MIHAARU

17:14

Nasheed: It is my obligation to ensure the continuance of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration. God willing, we shall not back down, we shall not tire. We shall establish good governance.

God willing, we shall establish the Maldives that you wish to see. We shall realise the people's wishes.

Progress is something that [should] enter the people's pockets. We shall endeavour faithfully to bring about progress.

17:18

Nasheed: We shall not allow an authoritarian rule in Maldives again. The Maldives will become an example in holding peaceful political activities.

Supporters gathered at Artificial Beach to greet former President Mohamed Nasheed. PHOTO/MIHAARU

17:20

Nasheed ends his speech, chanting "President Ibu!", referring to President-Elect Solih.

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