Maldives will go to the polls, possibly by year-end, to elect a new President. Till then, the national unity government will run the country. The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), to which the former President, Mohamed Nasheed, belongs, will be part of the government.

These are the broad contours of the India-brokered deal that has been accepted by all parties to the dispute. While there is still no clear agreement on the timing of the election, the earliest possible window would be this year-end. This formulation was agreeable to both the new President, Waheed Hassan Manik, who could go down as the shortest-serving President, and Mr. Nasheed. But some of the smaller parties, leaders of which wield a disproportionate amount of influence, did not agree to early elections, delaying the departure of Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who arrived in Male on Wednesday to talk to all parties.

“I reiterated our belief that there is need for a Maldivian-led process for reconciliation and resolving political differences through constitutional means,” Mr. Mathai told the press before he left for New Delhi. “There was a degree of convergence on how matters should be taken forward. The parties also agree to the need for maintenance of constitutional order. The President has come out with a road map for an inclusive political process which provides a very good basis for the parties to resolve their differences,” he added.

Mr. Mathai said the national unity government would hold discussions with all relevant parties to conduct elections by an early date. This will entail a Constitutional Amendment. Hence, the government “will work towards the conditions that will permit such elections to take place, including any necessary constitutional amendments,” he added.

The MDP was reconsidering its decision to hold a rally on Friday, he added. Dr. Waheed sent a letter to MDP president Ibrahim Didi requesting him to inform, before February 20, the party's decision on joining the national unity government. He urged the MDP to join the government that he was striving to form, a release said.

The Maldivian crisis of governance began on February 7 after President Mohamed Nasheed resigned.