“Given the shock and awe democracy has inspired in the nation over the past three or four years, the current phase is a sit-back time for the nation to take stock before moving forward,” writes N Sathiya Moorthy for the Observer Research Foundation.
“The nation is also in a more receptive, reflective and contemplative mood than anytime over the past months and years. It cannot afford to lose this opportunity.
For the right atmosphere to be created for such a dialogue and national reconciliation coupled with a political consensus on a way forward for existing issues of institutionalisation and recurring problems of economy, Maldives has to begin at the beginning.
Independent of charges and counter-charges, of a criminal nature in particular, the immunity available to past Presidents should apply uniformly, so that parties and leaders do not still have to live in the past, or have to defend their decisions and actions while in office.
Where the nation has learnt from the democratic developments of the past years, it can look at options for the future, including legal and punitive actions. At the end of the day, democracy is a dynamic process, and it will be more so in the case of Maldives, which wants to do – and will have to do – all at once. Errors and correctives are also part of greater democratisation.”