New Delhi: India has agreed to give shelter to former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and is in touch with Maldivian authorities over the issue. Expressing concern over the political situation in the island nation, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement urging restraint from all political parties in Maldives ahead of the presidential polls scheduled in September this year.
Here is the full statement by the Ministry of External Affairs:
Following the arrest warrant issued against him by the Hulhumale Magistrate Court, the former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, who is a candidate for the Presidential elections in Maldives scheduled for September 2013, is in the Indian High Commission and has sought India's assistance. We are in touch with the relevant Maldivian authorities to resolve the situation.
As a close and friendly neighbour, India has expressed concern over the ongoing political instability in Maldives and called upon the Government and all political parties to adhere strictly to democratic principles and the rule of law, thereby paving the way for free, fair, credible and inclusive elections. Now that the President of the Election Commission of Maldives has announced that Presidential elections would be held on 7 September 2013, it is necessary that the Presidential nominees of recognized political parties be free to participate in the elections without any hindrance. Prevention of participation by political leaders in the contest would call into question the integrity of the electoral process, thereby perpetuating the current political instability in Maldives. This is not in the interest of Maldives or the region. India would call upon the Government and all political parties in Maldives to avoid any actions that would vitiate the political atmosphere in the Maldives.