Maldives: Nasheed-led Oppn seeks UN help to defuse crisis

RSTV Bureau
FILE: File photo of former President of Maldives Mohammed Nasheed.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File photo of former President of Maldives Mohammed Nasheed.
Photo – PTI

The alliance of Opposition parties in the Maldives has appealed the United Nations to take steps in direction to resolve the political turmoil in the country. It also urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to mediate dialogue between the Opposition grouping and the government.

In a letter to UN chief, the Joint Opposition, led by former president Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party, expressed concern that Abdulla Yameen government’s call for all-party talks is an attempt to ease international condemnation over its recent actions and a time-buying tactic.

The Opposition’s request follows the UN Secretary-General’s statement early this month reiterating the United Nations’ offer to facilitate all-party dialogue in finding a solution to the Indian Ocean nation’s political stalemate.

The Opposition said that for meaningful talks to take place, the government must “halt its full-scale assault on democracy, the rule of law, and the Constitution.” Only “internationally mediated” talks are acceptable, said the Opposition MPD.

They also called for the full implementation the Supreme Court ruling and the release of imprisoned opposition leaders and judges, besides withdrawing military from Parliament, and allow the opening and full functioning of the Parliament.

The Maldives, which has seen several political crises since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos recently when the Supreme Court there ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were “politically motivated and flawed”.

The government on February 5 refused to comply with the court’s order and declared a 15-day state of emergency. Within hours, the security forces had stormed the court premises and arrested two judges, including the chief justice.

On February 6, Maldives’ Supreme court revoked the order to release nine high-profile political prisoners.

(With inputs from PTI)