AS Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed Stated in his address to India's Council of World Affairs in New Delhi, democratic reforms have been attempted on three different occasions in the Maldives since 1932. The earlier two attempts failed; but Shaheed claims that the current attempt could succeed.
While Shaheed does not specify the earlier two democratic movements, one can assume that the first of them was the one that ended with the label of 'Motor Boat Revolt.' The second was presumably the movement launched at the beginning of President Gayoom's regime, the movement that fizzled out and died with the 1998 Constitution.
Each movement was made possible during periods of weakness experienced by autocratic rulers. The earlier two movements failed when the ruler regained his composure. As Shaheed has also noticed the current movement is different in that the ruler was deposed before he could regain his authority. So it's left to the new ruler to complete the endgame. Will he stifle the movement if he does get full authority?
This time around there are certain safeguards against degradation into autocracy – independent judiciary and parliament. However they are not absolute guarantees. Parliamentary control can be regained through engineered defections. Judiciary can be cowed down by threats. So time alone will tell us the fate of the current democratic movement.