Maldives' ex-president Gayoom returns to homeland
Male, March 6 (IANS) The Maldives' former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom returned to the country from Malaysia Tuesday for the first time after the new government was formed following a controversial power transfer.
Gayoom, who is criticised as Asia's longest-ruling autocratic leader with allegations of corruption, was welcomed by his party supporters under tight security provided by Maldives National Defence Force, Xinhua reported citing Maldivian media.
Talking to media, Gayoom denied former president Mohamed Nasheed's allegation that he was involved in engineering a coup Feb 7, 2012 in the Maldives.
He said he did not play any role in the presidential power's transfer from Nasheed to his vice president Mohamed Waheed.
Gayoom ruled the Maldives for 30 years.
He said that newly appointed President Waheed had been sworn in constitutionally and that his party and the other parties of the coalition would extend their full support to the current administration.
Backing the Waheed-led government's stance, Gayoom said he would not support the idea of rushing into an early election in the Maldives, as sought by the opposition.
The presidential polls must be held in October 2013 as scheduled, said Gayoom who was out of the Indian Ocean archipelago since his election defeat in 2008 to Nasheed.