[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
The Maldives' political milestones
A summary of key events in the history of the south Asian archipelago nation.
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2008 06:17 GMT

Maldivians are voting in the country's first presidential election since Gayoom came to power [AFP]
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, president of the Maldives, is facing the strongest challenge to his 30-year rule in the country's first democratic presidental elections.

Gayoom was elected president on July 28, 1978, winning 90 per cent of the vote as the sole candidate in a presidential referendum, and he has remained in power ever since.

The following are some of the key events in the run-up to the country's first multi-party presidential elections:

2003

September 20-21: Public outrage over prison abuse boils over into unprecedented riots. Several people are arrested in the capital, Male.

October 19: Gayoom re-elected for sixth term as president.

2004

August 13: State of emergency declared after pro-democracy protests turn violent.

September 16: European parliament unanimously votes to impose sanctions against Maldives in wake of crackdown on protests. 

December: Sanctions taken off agenda after Gayoom drops charges against protesters.

December 26: Asian tsunami kills 82 Maldivians, and causes damage estimated at up to $510m or up to 80 per cent of GDP.

2005

January 26: Election mired in confusion after both government and opposition claim victory.

June 2: Government lifts ban on forming political parties, ending centuries of autocratic rule.

2006

March 28: Officials announce new reform road map, delaying first multi-party elections to 2008.

2008

January 8: Gayoom survives assassination attempt.

August 7: Gayoom ratifies new constitution paving way for multi-party presidential elections by October 10.

August 31: Ruling Dhivehi Raiyyithunge party left with two-seat majority in 50-member parliament following a series of cabinet resignations.

Source: Reuters

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.