United States’ Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake has encouraged the coalition of “former opposition” political parties affiliated with the new government to “work with all parties to reform and improve the capacity of the judiciary, the police and the election commission to ensure the election can be held in an orderly and peaceful manner.”
Meeting the press this afternoon in the National Art Gallery, Blake said that “a number of good ideas” were being explored to “try and bring former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) into the national unity government.”
Blake’s suggestion follows that of new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who said on Saturday morning that he hoped some cabinet posts would be taken by the MDP: “I hope MDP will be part of my cabinet, and I will keep posts vacant for them.”
Nasheed’s supporters have criticised the legitimacy of Dr Waheed’s government and have refused to participate in his proposed ‘national unity’ government.
Challenged by a foreign journalist as to the legality of the transition, Blake said that US commitment was to the new government of the Maldives.
““The United states remains committed to working with all Maldivian people to ensure democratic and prosperous future for this important friend of the United States,” Blake said.
However he added said that there were “some questions regarding the transfer of power” and suggested that some sort of independent Maldivian commission be formed to investigate the issue, before arriving at conclusions.
As per the constitution, the Vice President is next in line for the presidency and the speaker of the parliament “has already said that the transfer of the power was constitutional.”
“Some people say it was a coup, some people say it was a peaceful and constitutional transfer of. power. That not for the US to decide, that is for Maldivians,” Blake said.
He did express concern over the “anti-semetic commentary” and strongly condemned it, and also praised Nasheed’s government “for working to improve [the country’s] relationship with Israel and show themselves as a modern and progressive government.”
Nasheed and his party supporters gathered in their thousands at the Artificial Beach in Male’, where they were shown a chronology of videos leading up the change of government. Crowd control police or military were nowhere to be seen, and the crowd eventually dispersed peacefully.