Oct 13 The Maldives said on Thursday it will
leave the Commonwealth, weeks after the organisation warned it
could be suspended because of its lack of progress in promoting
rule of law and democracy.
Best known as a paradise for wealthy tourists, the Indian
Ocean archipelago has been mired in political unrest since
Mohamed Nasheed, its first democratically elected leader, was
ousted in disputed circumstances in 2012.
The decision comes as the Commonwealth Ministerial Action
Group last month warned the Maldives that in the absence of
substantive progress in rule of law and democracy, it would
consider its options, including suspension.
The Commonwealth comprises 53 states that were mostly former
"The decision to leave the Commonwealth was difficult, but
inevitable," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"Regrettably, the Commonwealth has not recognised that
progress and achievements that the Maldives accomplished in
cultivating a culture of democracy in the country and in
building and strengthening democratic institutions."
President Abdulla Yameen's administration reintroduced the
death penalty in July, rejecting repeated requests by right
groups and the West.
Nasheed, in exile in Britain after being allowed out of
jail to go there for medical treatment, formed the Maldives
United Opposition in June with the aim of toppling Yameen.
Yameen's administration has arrested most of his opponents.
The opposition says the administration is trying to cover up
corruption, including money laundering, accusations the
government has denied.
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Nick Macfie)