Nasheed, Mohamed

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Mohamed Nasheed (mōhä´mĕd näshēd´), 1967–, Maldivian political leader. A journalist, he often ran afoul of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and was imprisoned several times. "Anni" was first elected to parliament in 1999, but lost his seat (2001) due to a theft prosecution that was seen as politically motivated. In 2003, after he called for an autopsy on a teenage boy who had died in prison and was later found to have been tortured to death, civil unrest ensued; he went into self-imposed exile and co-founded the Maldivian Democratic party (MDP). Returning to the Maldives in 2005, he was arrested and charged with terrorism, provoking more civil unrest. In 2008 he won a runoff vote against Gayoom in the country's first democratic elections and became president; he became known internationally for calling attention to the effect of climate change on small island nations. Conflict both with parliament, where the MDP lacked a majority, and with the courts aided an opposition resurgence and led to increasing antigovernment protests early in 2012. As police joined the protests, Nasheed was forced to step down; Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan succeeded him. Nasheed won the 2013 presidential election's first round but failed to win the runoff. In 2015 he was convicted of terrorism and imprisoned in connection with the arrest of a judge during his presidency.