Hours after his dramatic resignation, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed was hunkered in his family home Tuesday, with armed soldiers surrounding the residence, family members and sources told AFP.
The president’s brother, Nazim Sattar, said the situation was very tense as it was unclear whose orders the soldiers were acting under following a mutiny by police officers earlier in the day.
He stressed that Nasheed’s downfall was the result of a “coup” and that the former leader did not know if the soldiers were “protecting him or handling him.”
“The president didn’t want to use force to stay on, so he resigned,” his brother said.
“But it was a coup. The police went against the state and it’s our understanding that at least part of the military is siding with the opposition,” Sattar said.
Another source with Nasheed said he had been brought to the house under military police escort.
“He has been instructed not to leave the country,” the source said.
Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, announced his resignation earlier Tuesday in a televised news conference.
His decision followed what aides described as a “mutiny” by rebel police officers who joined forces with anti-government activists who have held a series of protests over the past three weeks.
The military has denied any attempt at a takeover, saying only that the president had sought the army’s counsel and had been “advised” that resignation was the best solution.