Even as former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed continued to make the Indian High Commission in Male his home for the third successive day on Friday, the United Nations and other international players have spoken up, for the first time.
The U.N., the United States and the United Kingdom expressed concern, appealed for calm, and wanted the parties to ensure that the coming elections were free and fair. The Maldives go to the polls on September 7 to elect a new President.
Commenting on the situation in Maldives and elections, a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: “The British government is concerned about recent events in the Maldives and calls on all parties to exercise restraint to ensure the situation remains calm.”
“During FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] Minister Alistair Burt’s recent visit to Maldives, he said it was vital that the country move decisively towards free, fair and inclusive Presidential elections. He also stressed the importance of all parties being able to participate in elections with the candidate of their choice. It was important for all parties to avoid taking action that could lead to doubt over the integrity of the electoral process and contribute to continuing instability.
“The British government calls on all parties in the Maldives to engage in constructive political dialogue in order to ensure free, fair and inclusive elections.”
In Washington DC, the U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who expressed her country’s concerns about ongoing events in Male, urged all sides to remain calm, reject the use of violence, and avoid rhetoric that could increase tensions.
“Former President Nasheed must be accorded due process under the law regarding his pending court cases. We urge that the presidential elections scheduled for September 7, 2013 be free, fair, credible, transparent and inclusive.
“The integrity of and public confidence in the Maldivian electoral process must be maintained. Accordingly, we note that all parties participating in these elections should be able to put forward the candidate of their choice. We continue to urge all parties to chart a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.
United Nations spokesperson said the Secretary-General was monitoring with concern the developments in the Maldives.