Mohammed Nasheed is likely to talk to the new regime
After India did the groundwork of talking long hours to all parties to the conflict in the Maldives, the United States has stepped in to ensure that the new government sticks to its professed mandate of forming a unity government.
Both M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert O' Blake held meetings with the former President, Mohammed Nasheed, the new President, Waheed Hassan, and other players. They stressed that the formation of a truly rainbow coalition was in the best interests of the people. The Maldivian Democratic Party of Mr. Nasheed will also talk to the new regime on joining the government.
A sense of uncertainty has gripped the Maldives since Mr. Nasheed resigned as President on February 7.
As mandated by the Constitution, his Vice-President, Dr. Waheed, was sworn in. Mr. Nasheed kept quiet for a day, but his supporters clashed with the police next day, and he claimed that he was ousted in a coup.
On Friday, he demanded fresh elections. After meeting Mr. Blake on Saturday, Mr. Nasheed was in a contemplative mood, saying everything happens for the good.
Dr. Waheed, a relatively weaker politician but with vast administrative experience, said he expected a Cabinet to be in place over the next few days. He has promised that Mr. Nasheed would be protected and hoped that “the police would not show enthusiasm in carrying out the [arrest] warrant.”
Finally, the international community started toeing the same line on the events leading to Mr. Nasheed's resignation. The United Kingdom has already pressed for an investigation. Asked whether the Maldives incidents could be termed a coup, Mr. Ganapathi said this was to be determined by the political leadership. “I think we will go by the political leadership's decision and the Constitution of the Maldives,” he said.
And Mr. Blake said the U.S. wanted an independent investigation.
Dr. Waheed said he was ready for an independent inquiry into the incidents that led to Mr. Nasheed's resignation.Asked whether “independent” meant interna tional, he said he did not want to pre-empt any kind of probe. Making any comment would prejudice the issue, he said, calling for broader discussions.