Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, who is currently in the Indian High Commission in the capital Male taking refuge from riot police seeking to arrest him, has called for current President Waheed to step down.
In a statement he has also called for an interim arrangement to oversee free and fair presidential polls.
Here is the full statement:
President Nasheed, currently seeking refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male', has called on Dr Waheed to step down from the presidency and an interim arrangement to be established that would oversee a free and fair presidential election in the Maldives.
"The events of the past year - the mass arrests, the police brutality, the politically motivated trials - demonstrate that Dr Waheed cannot be trusted to hold a free and fair election. Waheed should do the right thing and resign from office. 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," President Nasheed said.
President Nasheed labelled his ongoing trial "a politically motivated sham" and said the Hulhumale Magistrates Court - established to hear his case - was illegal and created "with the sole purpose of disqualifying me from standing in the presidential elections."
President Nasheed said he could not hope to be afforded a fair trial and accused Waheed of "ruling down the barrel of a gun."
President Nasheed added that "the fate of Maldivian democracy hangs in the balance" and said that "the Maldivian people must not be robbed of their democratic right to elect a leader of their choosing."
President Nasheed welcomed Wednesday's statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, which called on all candidates to be allowed to freely compete in the upcoming presidential elections in the Maldives.
Story first published:
February 13, 2013 22:43 IST