Former president Hassan returns to Maldives

Male, Dec 16: Former Maldives president Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who left for Hong Kong on the eve of the Nov 16 presidential elections, returned to the Maldives, media reports said Monday.

Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed greeted Waheed at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport here.

In an unusual move on the eve of the Nov 16 presidential elections, then President Waheed left for Hong Kong for a medical appointment of his wife, Haveeru reported.

President Abdulla Yameen, cabinet ministers and government-aligned Jumhoory Party leader Gasim Ibrahim greeted the former president as he arrived.

Asked by reporters, President Yameen said his predecessor would be given “the highest honour and respect”. But he declined to comment on whether Waheed would be given a government post.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has strongly criticised his move.

Waheed, who was vice president, came to power in February 2012 when Maldivian Democratic Party leader Nasheed was ousted in the aftermath of a police mutiny.

Nasheed has said he was the victim of a coup in which Waheed was complicit from the start.

IANS