In a major victory for former President Mohamed Nasheed, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has decided to send a team to Maldives “urgently to ascertain the facts surrounding the transfer of power.”

This decision was taken at a teleconference meeting to consider the situation in the Republic of Maldives. The meeting was convened by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, and chaired by Surujrattan Rambachan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Communications of Trinidad and Tobago.

India, U.S. and a majority of the international community has favoured an independent Maldivian investigation. The new President, Waheed Hassan, has made it clear that he was not averse to an international investigation.

CMAG stepped out of line with India and the U.S. and “expressed its solidarity with the people of Maldives to select a government of their choice through democratic means.”

CMAG underlined the importance of adherence by member countries to the Commonwealth's fundamental political values, most recently expressed by Heads of Government in the 2009 Affirmation of Commonwealth Values and Principles, including constitutional democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights; and in particular, the principle of separation of powers, as enshrined in the Latimer House Principles. The Ministerial team is being sent since the Commonwealth Heads of Government had given the Group an enhanced mandate at their meeting in Perth, Australia, in 2011 “to consider situations of concern in member countries in a proactive, engaged and positive manner.”

Other members of the Group who participated in the meeting included Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia; Dipu Moni, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; John Baird, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada; Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jamaica; and Joseph B. Dauda, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone.

More In: International | News