NEW DELHI: India on Friday asked all the political parties in Maldives to ‘exercise restraint’ after a day of protests both in and outside the Majlis by Maldivian Democratic Party that blocked the start of the new parliamentary session.
On Thursday, the Maldivian capital came to a standstill as MDP supporters came to the streets, and the MDP MPs occupied the Speaker’s post to stop President Mohamed Waheed from making his presidential address to inaugurate the session.
The MDP, led by former President Mohamed Nasheed, demanded that the government should announce the date for early elections, before the session begins. Ministry of External Affair’s official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “India has urged all the parties to maintain clam and to exercise restraint.” He further ‘encouraged them to exercise their responsibilities to the Maldivian people and to continue necessary discussions under the All-Party Consultative Committee and the People’s Majlis to find a peaceful and viable solution as agreed under the Roadmap’.
Akbaruddin also asserted that India believed that it was an ‘internal matter of the Maldives, to be resolved by Maldivians in a peaceful and democratic manner’. He added that India ‘stood ready to assist the government and people of Maldives in any manner necessary’. Earlier, India had said it was acting as a ‘facilitator’ between the various political parties to come to a solution.
It has been a rough ride for India, which had been quick to recognise the Waheed presidency after Nasheed stepped down in early February. But, Nasheed then claimed that his resignation had been forced at gunpoint. There had also been a day of violence, when the government forces cracked down on a MDP rally.