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Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed resigns after police mutiny

Sinan Hussain / AP

President Mohamed Nasheed, center, stands outside the military headquarters before announcing his resignation in Male, Maldives, on Feb. 7, 2012.

Sinan Hussain / AP

Soldiers, left, are involved in a clash with police officers, right, in Male on Feb. 7, 2012.

Reuters reports from MALE

Maldives Presidential Office via AFP - Getty Images

Mohamed Nasheed announces his resignation on Feb. 7, 2012 in Male during a televised press conference after a mutiny by the police and weeks of demonstrations.

President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives resigned on Tuesday after weeks of protests erupted into a police mutiny, leaving the man widely credited with bringing democracy to the paradise islands accused of being as dictatorial as his predecessor.

Nasheed handed power over the Indian Ocean archipelago to Vice-President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, who was sworn in in the afternoon, explaining that continuing in office would result in his having to use force against the people.

"I resign because I am not a person who wishes to rule with the use of power," he said in a televised address. "I believe that if the government were to remain in power it would require the use of force which would harm many citizens." 

Read more: Trouble in paradise: Maldives president quits after protests

Sinan Hussain / AP

Opposition supporters and police officers shout at the military during a protest in Male on Feb. 7, 2012.

Sinan Hussain / AP

A soldier kicks a tear gas canister towards police during a clash in Male on Feb. 7, 2012.