India must keep nudging Male towards free and fair elections: Indian Express

The Maldives continues to remind India that small countries often pose big problems for their large neighbours, writes the Indian Express in an editorial.

Internal squabbles in the Maldives — with a population of barely 3,30,000, but occupying large strategic real estate in the Indian Ocean — have continued to test India’s diplomatic skills since President Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected leader of the island republic, was forced to resign in February 2012. India quickly recognised the new government led by Nasheed’s deputy, Mohammed Waheed. Nasheed soon called his ouster a “coup” mounted by Waheed, the former president and strong man, Abdul Gayoom, and the security forces, and launched a protest campaign. India’s initial emphasis was on non-intervention in the internal affairs of Maldives. New Delhi urged Male to hold early elections and preserve the nascent democratic order.

The internal crisis in Maldives, however, steadily deepened and culminated in Nasheed seeking sanctuary in the Indian High Commission nearly two weeks ago, drawing India right back into the power struggle.

Sensitive about its sovereignty, Male denies there was a deal with India. Clearly, the crisis is far from over. Delhi has the responsibility to stay engaged and pre-empt the next crisis, which must be assumed to be round the corner. Through robust and sustained diplomacy, Delhi must ensure Nasheed is not kept out of the political reckoning through legal manipulation.

If the Waheed government has proved to be slippery, playing the China card against Delhi and cancelling the contract with the Indian company GMR to run the country’s only international airport in Male a few months ago, Nasheed’s confrontational style has put Maldives on the edge. Irrespective of the bromides on non-intervention, India, as the pre-eminent regional power, has no option but to keep nudging Male towards free and fair elections.

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4 thoughts on “India must keep nudging Male towards free and fair elections: Indian Express”

  1. India has not rights to influence with our internal policies and no matter how big the country is.

    Nasheed and his people thought that if India demand to repay the loans will make the current government to bow their heads to India unconditionally. But that did not happened and Nasheed want India to use different tactics to meddle with our internal policies.

    Nasheed is not only the person in MDP and MDP should have other leaders who can contest in this election and then they will have better chance of winning the election than making Nasheed as one and only candidate .

    All the parties should be able to have their leader to contest in the election but this leader should not have committed any crime .

    Free and fair election does not mean that we need to allow the criminal to take part in the election right?

  2. You seem to have forgotten that President Nasheed was endorsed by MDP members. It is up to the MDP members to decide who they wish to endorse for President. Not you. And they have chosen their leader whether you like it or not.

    Its one thing disagreeing with the policies and actions of a leader but quite another when you obsess over that.

    Your thinking represents the old order where we are told what to think and do. Starforce. Times have moved on, Kuribee, get on with the times or be left behind.

  3. India may not have any business to do anything with what ever policy of Maldives.
    Neither did the Vice President who President Nasheed chose to be besides him for the term he was elected, had any business to cook up a coup behind his back, oust him out office and take over the presidency we voted for!
    If this is possible and justifiable, I cannot see why India cannot nudge, budge and even prod and demand from its neighbour when they are endangered howsoever!


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