531 words - February 18, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his concern about the political situation in the Maldives, where former President Mohamed Nasheed has sought refuge in the Indian High Commission, and is urging all parties to work towards conditions conducive for the upcoming elections in line with the country's Constitution.
Mr Nasheed was elected in 2008 in the first multi-party presidential elections in the country in three decades. He resigned in February 2012 in controversial circumstances, succeeded by his former deputy, Mohammed Waheed Hassan. The latter's Government set up a National Commission of Inquiry to probe the events leading to the regime change, and has been repeatedly accused of disrupting the democratic process towards the next presidential elections, scheduled for September 7. Indeed, former President Nasheed and his partisans have been allegedly undergoing mounting pressure so that he will not run in the elections.
Consequently Secretary-General Ban has been monitoring the developments since Wednesday when Mr Nasheed entered the Indian facility in the capital city of Malé after the Hulhumale Magistrate Court sent police forces to arrest him on charges that he illegally detained a judge during the last days of his presidency. India, "a close and friendly neighbor" of Maldives, shared similar concern over the ongoing political instability. On February 15, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told his counterpart Dr. Abdul Samad Abdullah that his country "would like to see free, fair, credible and inclusive elections leading up to a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives." A previous official statement warned that the "prevention of participation by political leaders – (including implicitly Mr Nasheed)* - in the contest would call into question the integrity of the electoral process, thereby perpetuating the current political instability in Maldives."
The United States State Department's spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated that "former President Nasheed must be accorded due process under the law regarding his pending court cases," while British Foreign Secretary William Hague said "it is essential that party dialogue resumes in order to implement the Commission of National Inquiry's recommendations to strengthen democracy, undertake institutional reform, and move towards elections." The report about the visit to Malé on February 16 by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of the Judges and Lawyers Ms Gabriela Knaul is likely to corroborate the international community's concerns.
Yet Foreign Minister Samad affirmed that "the country is in perfect normalcy" and denied "any court orders to produce (Mr Nasheed) to court by the Police." He rejected the unfounded concerns and emphasized that it was important for all to "characterize the situation in its proper perspective." He further said "Maldives is capable of conducting free, fair, and credible elections and (that) the Government is determined to repeat that exercise in September," He also described Mr Nasheed's status as one of a "guest" at the Indian Chancery. Finally, Maldives President Waheed contradicted with his Minister's assertion while expressing his dismay "that the former President Nasheed sought refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male' when he was summoned to the court." If the Maldives officials affirmed there is no political turmoil in Maldives, the contradictory statements seemed to show there is.
*This was added by DiploNews and is not quoted from Mr. Khurshid's statement.
Parts of or the whole information published on this page is likely to originate from Official Institutions like Governments, Ministries, Embassies and States. Its reproduction on this page does not constitute any endorsement from DiploNews and any of its affiliates and/or partners. If titles are sometimes modified for better understanding, the contents are reproduced exactly as delivered by the institution that first published it. To know the exact origin, click on 'view original source' at the end of the page. All information that originates from DiploNews is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written express authorization from DiploNews.
|Syria must not become the battlefield of a proxy war, warns top MEP|
|Afghanistan's Special Forces become "very competent" tactical formations|
|Japan sends envoy to North Korea, draws discontent from its allies|
|Bulgaria will strongly support Kosovo's European integration path|
|Mali will receive EUR 3.25 billion for its recovery|
|AFRICOM to help Liberia make a successful transition|
|Somalia must not fall back, gets renewed international support|
|Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan towards new horizons of development|
|Kerry's visit to Moscow focuses on Syria, to be continued at the G8 meeting in June|
|Australian PM Gillard, PNG counterpart O'Neill meet, commit to stronger ties|