Dhaka, Bangladesh
Democracy in the Maldives

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Democracy in the Maldives

A low-slung archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives faces long-term danger from the global rise in sea-level. In the shorter term, it risks sinking in a different sense .Ten years after being launched, its experiment with democracy is listing badly , unable to keep afloat, writes the Editorial commentator of The Economist . The 19-month jail sentence handed down on June 13th against an ex-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, is just the latest of many distress signals. Mr Gayoom, who is now 80 years old, ran the Maldives for three decades with an iron fist before being voted out of office in 2008. He was convicted of aiding an alleged coup plot against his own half-brother, Abdullah Yameen, the country's president since 2013. With less than a month for candidates to register for the country's third-ever multi-party election it looks increasingly likely that Mr Yameen will end up running virtually unopposed. So far Mr Yameen has been able to brush aside Western criticism of his darkening record on human rights .India a giant neighbor that has in the past waded in to uphold constitutional norms , and which is anxious about growing Chinese influence , has shown no appetite for confrontation . In short, even as the tide of dictatorship rises, there are few hands working to bail out the Maldives' foundering democracy. — The Economist

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