Ousted Maldivian President Mohammad Nasheed on Wednesday made a strong case for early elections and accused the present leadership in the archipelago of being a “facade” for former ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Pitching himself as a true democrat, Mr. Nasheed also claimed that he had rejected offers of a “counter-coup” from a section of the military days after his ouster from office following a army-backed coup on February 7.

“I did not consider the offer. I told the two generals ‘don’t waste your time’,” he said delivering a talk on ’Consolidation of Democracy in Maldives’ at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

Mr. Nasheed said he told the military officers that though he was ousted in a coup, he would not resort to similar means to get back to power and stressed on the democratic way.

The former President is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior officials in the External Affairs Ministry during his six-day stay in India.

He was critical of India’s quick recognition to President Mohammad Waheed’s government. Mr. Waheed was the Vice President in the Nasheed government.

“I cannot understand why the (Indian) High Commissioner did not see what was unfolding. Neither can I understand his briefs and utterances,” he said.

Mr. Nasheed said President Gayoom, whom he had defeated in the 2008 elections, was back in power in the Maldives “with a facade of my Vice President as the President.”

He claimed that the new government had no relations with the people of the archipelago nation as it was “forced” to assume power by the military and the police.

“There is a need to have early elections in Maldives,” Mr. Nasheed said.

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