Nasheed vows to continue protests for early elections

Ousted President Mohamed Nasheed has vowed to step up demonstrations for early elections after the government agreed to a Commonwealth demand to revise a commission set up to investigate the controversial transfer of power on February 7.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) youth wing offices on Tuesday night, Nasheed said new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan had been forced to revise the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) due to popular demonstrations for early elections and called on the public to step up protests.

Nasheed alleges he was deposed in a coup d’état carried out by mutinous elements of the police and military on February 7. Thousands of MDP supporters have since held regular protests since the change of government calling for fresh elections.

“The Commonwealth is with the Maldives. Commonwealth officials can see the vast number of yellow scarves when they step out on to their balconies. Don McKinnon is astonished by the number of people who have come out in support for this in this tiny place,” Nasheed said.

Sir Don McKinnon is the Commonwealth’s Special Envoy to the Maldives. The Commonwealth has called for early elections in the Maldives within 2012.

Nasheed reiterated his belief that Maldives may never see elections again if early elections are not held in 2012. Moreover, he claimed President Waheed’s administration was attempting to influence the Elections Commission by offering ambassadorships and other benefits to the Elections Commission President Fuad Thawfeeq.

The two offices opened on Tuesday night were the Orchard Office on Keneree Magu and the offices of youth activist group “Yellow Force.”