India proposes early presidential elections in Maldives

Maldives protest
Male, Feb 29: India has proposed early presidential elections in Maldives to end the political impasse in the country following the ouster of the first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed.

During his talks with leaders of political parties last night, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai proposed a paper which hinted at presidential election before the end of this year, local media quoted participants at the meeting as saying.

Mathai arrived on Tuesday on an unannounced visit to hold meetings with various stakeholders. This is his second visit here following the political unrest that sieged the country early this month following Nasheed's ouster.

The Sun online claimed that the paper presented by Mathai sought amendments to the Constitution within one month to pave the way for an early Presidential election before December this year.

Asked on the outcome of the meeting, chaired by the first human rights commissioner of Maldives and ex-minister Ahmed Mujuthaba, Mathai said he might tell something later today.

Indian High Commissioner to Maldives D M Mulay and Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, former chief of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party, were also present. Maldives current Attorney General also attended the meeting towards the end.

During the meeting, few political leaders had some differences with the Foreign Secretary and the meeting which lasted for two hours didn't find a consensus forward.

Some of the political parties representatives objected the presence of Mathai at the meeting, saying it was not good as the Indian Foreign Secretary is involving himself in the internal matters of this country, media reports said.

Mathai came to Maldives at the peak of the differences among the political parties and it was he who was able to make all the political parties agree for talks.


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