8 Feb 2012

Resignation of Maldives president

6:11 am on 8 February 2012

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has resigned after weeks of demonstrations and a mutiny by some police officers.

Vice-President Waheed Hassan was sworn in to replace him.

The BBC reports tensions escalated after the army arrested a senior judge last month, prompting bitter street protests.

Mr Nasheed announced his resignation during a televised news conference on Tuesday.

Earlier, a group of police officers took control of the state broadcaster in the capital, Male, and began playing messages in support of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Mr Nasheed was elected in 2008. The former human rights campaigner, beat Mr Gayoom, who had been in power for 30 years and was widely seen as autocratic.

Correspondents say the country has been gripped by constitutional gridlock since then.

Mr Nasheed accused the judge of being in the pocket of Mr Gayoom.

The new president says Mr Nasheed is in protective custody.