Maldivian leader Mohamed Nasheed, who has taken refuge at the Indian embassy in the capital to evade arrest, has demanded the dropping of charges against 800 party workers, his spokeswoman said Thursday.

Mariya Didi also said Nasheed wanted India to take a lead in securing an end to the political crisis in the Indian Ocean atoll nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims.

Nasheed insisted that "politically motivated" charges against over 800 Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists be dropped ahead of elections scheduled for September, Didi told AFP.

"We are asking all politically motivated charges including that against president Nasheed, MDP parliamentarians, MDP councillors, party officials and key party workers be dropped," she said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday night from the besieged Indian diplomatic compound, Nasheed reiterated long-standing calls for his successor Mohamed Waheed to resign and allow a caretaker government to organise the elections.

"An interim, caretaker government should be established that can lead the Maldives to genuinely free and fair elections, in which all candidates are freely able to compete."