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Gayoom denies role, may return

The Maldives' former strongman ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Friday hailed the island nation's new government as legitimate and denied charges he was involved in engineering a coup.

world Updated: Feb 10, 2012 23:41 IST

The Maldives' former strongman ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Friday hailed the island nation's new government as legitimate and denied charges he was involved in engineering a coup.

Gayoom, who governed with an iron grip for three decades, also would not rule out a bid to return to power following Tuesday's resignation of elected leader Mohamed Nasheed, who quit in a move he said was forced by a police and army mutiny.

The Indian Ocean island nation has been rocked by weeks of opposition-led protests capped by the resignation of Nasheed, who has alleged a conspiracy with the involvement of Gayoom and ex-vice president Mohamed Waheed.