New Delhi, Feb 7 (ANI): India on Tuesday ruled out meddling in the internal matters of The Maldives after President Mohamed Nasheed resigned in favour of a national unity government under the leadership of Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan until next year's presidential election.
Nasheed, who resigned on Tuesday after opposition protests boiled over with a police mutiny, has been widely credited with ushering in full democracy in the Indian Ocean archipelago with a 2008 election win over former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, whose 30-year rule was seen as autocratic.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday said New Delhi hopes that all issues will be resolved in a peaceful and democratic manner.
"We have noted the decision of President Mohamed Nasheed to resign in favour of Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed. This is an internal matter of the Maldives to be resolved by Maldivians. We hope that all issues will be resolved in a peaceful and democratic manner," said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
"India has traditionally enjoyed close ties of friendship and cooperation with the Maldives. We remain committed to extending the fullest support and cooperation to the Government of Maldives in its endeavour to promote peace and progress in the Maldives and the prosperity and well being of its people," he added.
The MEA spokesperson further said New Delhi continues to closely monitor the situation in Maldives and understand that the Indian expatriate community there is safe.
The protests started in big way after Nasheed ordered the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed on January 15, accusing him of supporting Gayoom.
The arrest of the chief justice has given Gayoom a chance to come out of political wilderness.
The use of radical style of Islam by Nasheed's opponents has unnerved practitioners of traditionally moderate Maldivian Islam and could threaten the nation's new multi-party democratic set up.
Nasheed's Islamic credentials were attacked after the protests. The Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP) accused Nasheed of attempting to undermine Islam by bringing in Christianity, establishing diplomatic relations and having direct flights from Israel, and of doing business with Jewish businessmen.
Before resigning, Nasheed made it clear in a televised address that his continuing in power would result in him having to use force against his people.
"Citizens of Maldives. As I see it today, if I remain as the president any longer, there would be numerous repercussions and a lot of damage, for which reason I have resigned as President of Maldives as from today," he said.
Nasheed came to power in 2008, pledging to bring full democracy to the Indian Ocean archipelago known for its luxury resorts. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)
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