Former President Mohamed Nasheed is set to visit India later this month as part of an international tour to try and garner support for early elections in the Maldives amidst allegations that he was removed from office in a “coup d’etat”, Zee News has reported.
The proposed visit has been announced as Nasheed finishes up a visit to the US where he has been speaking to students, diplomats and popular talk shot host David Letterman about his views on the state of democracy in the country. He has also been using the trip to promote the documentary film “The Island President”:
44-year-old Nasheed, who became Maldives’ first democratically-elected president following multi-party polls in October 2008, had resigned on February 7 in what he claims was a coup.
He said he was shocked at the US and Indian governments’ rapid move to recognise the new regime headed by Mohammaed Waheed Hassan after he was ousted from power.
“I will go to India in the middle of next month and plan to meet as many political leaders as possible,” including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nasheed said.
“I would like to ask the people of India to be with us and to not let go (of their support for us). They should not let dictatorship return to Maldives. We have to have early elections. We can come back on track again. We definitely need the support of India,” he said.
Nasheed, who is in the US for the release of a documentary on climate change, said he hopes India will “come around” and support him even though it had moved quickly to recognise the new regime in Maldives.