The International Herald Tribune has published an exclusive interview on its India Ink blog with President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan discussing his government’s aims for transparent democracy and sustainable initiatives.
“Mohammed Waheed Hassan, president of the Maldives, concluded a five-day state visit to India last week, his first since taking over in February after Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader, stepped down.
Mr Nasheed said he was forced to leave in a coup that was orchestrated by loyalists to Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the former dictator.
During his visit to India, Mr Hassan rejected calls from Mr Nasheed and others for early elections, saying that under the constitution, the next elections in Maldives could not be held earlier than July 2013. He also said Indian leaders impressed upon him the importance of all political stakeholders in the Maldives working together to take the democratic process forward.
In an interview, conducted through e-mail, Mr Hassan rejected allegations that he is being influenced by Mr Gayoom and pledged that he would do all he could to preserve the country’s relationship with India,” the paper wrote.