Associated Press

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Maldives government says it has decided to leave the Commonwealth because the grouping of former British colonies has treated it “unjustly and unfairly” and sought to interfere in its politics.

The statement Thursday by the Foreign Ministry comes weeks after the Commonwealth threatened the country with suspension if it failed to show progress in key democratic governance issues by next March.

It said the Commonwealth seemed to think Maldives could be used as an easy way to increase the organization’s relevance and leverage in international politics.

Maldives became a multiparty democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule. President Yameen Abdul Gayoom has been accused of erasing much of the democratic gains since being elected in 2013.

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