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Commonwealth Delegation to Investigate Maldives Leadership Change

President Dr Mohamed Waheed with Indian Foreign Secretary Mr Ranjan Mathai on 16th February 2012.

A Commonwealth delegation has been dispatched to investigate the circumstances under which the former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, resigned from power on 7th February 2012.

A ministerial mission will arrive in Malé on 17th February 2012. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Communications of Trinidad and Tobago, Surujrattan Rambachan, will lead the group. He will be accompanied by Dr Dipu Moni, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, and Dennis Richardson AO, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia.

A Commonwealth Secretariat team that has been in the country since 6th February 2012. The former President, Mohamed Nasheed, was the first democratically elected leader of the Maldives, which had been under authoritarian rule from 1978 – 2008. He claims that he resigned from the leadership under duress from the security forces.

On the same day that the ministerial mission was announced, the new President of the Maldives, former Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed, met with the Indian Foreign Secretary, made appointments to the new cabinet and declared a “Victory for the People of the Maldives” with a “Roadmap for a Possible Way Forward”.  The roadmap made mention of elections in 2013, a Government of National Unity, including ministerial positions for the ousted opposition, and a commitment to working with the UN and Commonwealth to learn lessons from the controversial transfer of power. An additional mention of early elections was added in what appears to be a concession to furious opposition supporters.

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Editors and staff from the News Desk at The Global Herald.

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