Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) representatives have claimed the international community favours pursuing a settlement with the Maldives government to resolve ongoing political instability before next week’s publication of the Commission of National Inquiry’s (CNI’s) findings.
Observing ongoing dialogue between the international community and local political figures, MDP MP and spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor claimed that the opinions of foreign governments on how to resolve the country’s political deadlock were “now aligned” largely with the stance currently held by the Commonwealth.
He claimed additionally that key regional players such as India appeared committed to “negotiating a settlement” on resolving political disputes that have resulted in the breakdown of political talks and the temporary suspension of the country’s parliament over the last month.
While currently travelling, President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told Minivan News by SMS today that there had been no discussions on any settlement with foreign governments regarding potential commitments it would take following the outcome of the CNI.
The CNI was initially established by President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan to investigate the details of February’s controversial transfer of power.
The Maldivian government said earlier this month that in the interests of not interfering with the work of the CNI, it would not hold any dialogue on the commission’s findings until its report was published.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed this week told local media that talks had been held with “prominent officials” in the respective government’s of Sri Lanka and India about the MDP’s strategy on how to proceed regarding its calls for early elections following the release of the CNI’s findings.
MDP spokesperson Ghafoor said he was unable to add any further details to Nasheed’s comments, claiming the “bigger picture” of ongoing international discussions reflected a mutual commitment to resolve political deadlock through dialogue and commitments to early elections.
He added that through ongoing dialogue with government representatives, its coalition partners, and the country’s political opposition, international opinion now generally favoured the stance taken by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
“CMAG has reached a binding decision that has called for early elections, an independent investigation into the transfer of power and dialogue between national stakeholders” he said. “This is position we are seeing shared between a number of international partners. “
With just over a week until the CNI releases its findings, Ghafoor alleged that parliamentary representatives within President Waheed’s coalition government had not forwarded any potential resolutions to resolve the stalled political process.
“[The president] must remember that there are ten days to try to come to a resolution and their biggest demand so far is to cease protests, a commitment that we have carried out,” he claimed.
Despite the MDP’s claims of ceasing street protests, President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza claimed on Saturday (August 18) that the “harassment” of state officials by opposition party members was continuing.
Abbas told Minivan New that President Waheed was committed to taking part in roadmap talks between government-aligned parties and the MDP to try and overcome the country’s political deadlock, but only when he was confident the opposition had stopped its alleged harassment.
President Waheed also reiterated to local media over the weekend that the government would not discuss any outcome of the CNI until the body concluded its work later this month.
The CNI is scheduled to publish its report by August 29 on the events leading to Dr Waheed assuming the presidency . The report will first be made available to the authorities and to the Prosecutor General (PG). The public will be given access to the findings on August 30.
Abbas stressed that the government was committed to not “intervene” in the inquiry’s work, as it had been set up, and later amended under international pressure, to operate without state interference.
“The outcome will be respected by the country’s various institutions such as the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Human Rights Commission and the Police Integrity Commission,” he said.
Senior representatives from several government-aligned parties were not available for comment when contacted today about their plans following the publication of the CNI report.
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef both had their phones switched off at the time of press.
Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Abdulla Jabir said he was presently travelling and would contact Minivan News once he returned.
Meanwhile, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Interim Deputy Leader Umar Naseer and MP Ahmed Mahlouf were not answering calls at the time of the press.