Maldives. According to countryaah, Male is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Maldives. The Maldives escaped the tsunami on December 26, 2004 with only a hundred deaths, but materially, the tidal wave was estimated to have thrown the country back a few decades. The damage was estimated to be equivalent to up to SEK 40 billion. Of the 199 inhabited islands of the Maldives, 53 were severely damaged and about 20 were estimated to be completely devastated.
Because of the tsunami disaster, the parliamentary elections were postponed from December 2004 to January 2005. The opposition, informally organized in the banned Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), achieved great success and took between 12 and 18 of the 40 seats. The party ban made it difficult to determine exactly who could be counted as MDP representatives. After the election, President Maumun Abdul Gayum announced that democratic reforms would be implemented during the year. MDP leader Mohammad Nashid was able to return after 18 months in exile, and in June the formation of political parties was allowed. In August, however, Nashid was arrested and charged with terrorism and rioting. He was accused of advocating in a speech that the president be dismissed by force.
In October, Jennifer Lathif, the daughter of MDP’s founder Mohamed Lathif, was sentenced to ten years in prison, accused of having been roped in in 2003. MDP threatened with strikes and protest actions if the president failed to live up to the reform promises. In December, the government acknowledged that it had failed to write a new constitution within the appointed time and requested foreign assistance with the work.