Its beaches are a dream destination in the Indian Ocean, promising serenity and sunshine. However, politics in the Maldives is a completely different affair, as this week’s dramatic events showed. On February 1, the island nation’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a former president who remains in exile and ordered several opposition politicians to be released from prison. The next day, hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital Male in support of the verdict, where police met them with tear gas and batons.The ruling would give the opposition a majority in Parliament and allow former President Mohamed Nasheed the chance to challenge incumbent Abdulla Yameen in next year’s election. The court stated the trials against Mr. Nasheed and the opposition members had violated the constitution. Mr. Nasheed’s conviction was condemned by large parts of the international community. President Yameen, however, has refused to obey the court, plunging the country into crisis mode. He declared a state of emergency on Monday.