Former President Mohamed Nasheed met with his successor Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan yesterday evening for the first time since the former’s controversial resignation in February last year.
Meeting at the president’s official residence – Muleeage – at 9pm, the encounter lasted around fifteen minutes before Nasheed left without speaking to the press.
A subsequent Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) statement said that the discussion had included Nasheed’s concern at the delayed run-off election following the Supreme Court rulings ordering the cessation of preparations – by force if necessary.
The court is reported to be working around the clock to reach a conclusion in the Jumhooree Party’s (JP) case, which has requested an annulment due to what it allegs were systemic failings during the first poll.
Despite President Waheed’s hopes that the court reach a decision as soon as possible, none has been forthcoming since the concluding statements were heard one week ago.
A President’s Office statement today noted Waheed’s desire to see a smooth transfer of power to the eventual winner of the election.
Addressing the nation earlier in the day, Waheed said that verification of election related complaints was vital.
“Presidential candidates, political parties, individual citizens, foreign organisations and nations are all waiting to see the election being held as quickly as possible and to see the new president take oath on November 11,” said President Waheed.
The constitution mandates that a new president take office by November 11, a schedule the Elections Commissioner has said cannot now be met.
Both MDP and President’s Office statements claimed that the meeting had been requested by the other attendee.
Waheed assumed office within hours of Nasheed’s unexpected resignation, in what Waheed has insisted was a constitutionally prescribed procedure.
Nasheed would soon claim that his resignation had come under duress, publicly labelling Waheed as a conspirator in his demise and a ‘baghee’ (‘traitor’).
Whilst Nasheed topped the first round of polling on September 7 with 45.45% of the vote, Waheed’s ‘Forward with the Nation’ coalition gained just 5%.
The final result was due to be followed by a run-off on September 28 between Nasheed’s MDP and second-placed candidate Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of Maldives before third-placed candidate Gasim Ibrahim’s JP took his complaints to the Supreme Court.
Gasim – who himself met with Nasheed two weeks ago to discuss the maintenance of national interest and maintaining stability and public order – missed out on the run-off by less than three thousand votes.
Supporters of Nasheed have protested for six consecutive nights following the decision to indefinitely delay the run-off.