India must insist on early polls in Maldives: Nasheed

Ousted Maldives president has urged India to use its 'tools' to force early polls in his country.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 20, 2012 12:41 am

Ousted Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has urged India to use its “tools” to force early polls in his country. He fears that elections could be rigged,and would request India to send observers and monitors,Nasheed said at the Idea Exchange programme at The Indian Express on Thursday.

Nasheed said the objective of his visit to India was to drive home the point that if early polls are not held,there is a possibility that Islamic fundamentalists might take over.

“If we give them more time,they (the current regime) will meddle with it (election process). The elections must be observed and monitored. We hope there will be India’s involvement in monitoring the elections,” Nasheed said. He added,“Islamic parties will consolidate themselves if we don’t have elections soon.”

Nasheed said he was “forced to resign” in February,and cronies of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom were now in power. He said he was disappointed with India’s stand on the transfer of power,but understood New Delhi’s “difficulties”.

The former president said radical Islam had reached “alarming levels” in the Maldives,but declined to speculate on the presence of the Lashkar-e-Toiba. “I am not specifically aware if Lashkar is there in Maldives. I am aware that radical Islamists are there in the country,” he said.

Nasheed said he would visit Bangaldesh and Nepal to explain the situation in the Maldives. “I have not been to Pakistan but I have explained to them what has happened. I will go to Bangladesh or Nepal or Bhutan (to explain my view). I will go to hell and back,” he said.

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