Stressing that peace and stability in Maldives is important to India,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday told visiting Maldives President Mohammed Waheed that he hoped that all shades of political opinion in the island nation will get together to find a way forward.
This was conveyed during the meeting Singh had with Waheed,who succeeded Mohammed Nasheed on February 7,at his residence. This is Waheeds first overseas visit as the head of state.
Singh assured him of continued strong Indian support for the development of Maldives,sources in the government said. Waheeds visit comes a month after Nasheed visited India and met Singh and other senior leaders and urged New Delhi to lean over the new regime to conduct early elections. Nasheed has alleged that he was removed as President in a live and televised coup,but that has not found many takers here.
Waheed expressed strong commitment to democracy and elections and outlined the political situation and also explained to Singh issues related to the Commission of National Inquiry set up to inquire into the circumstances of the transfer of power.
In a bid to assuage concerns in New Delhi,he reiterated commitment to long-standing friendship with India and emphasised continued adherence to all agreements between the two countries.
The assessment here is that the parties in Maldives need to have another round of discussions on the question of early elections. It may be noted that even if mid-term polls were held,their constitution allows the new government to function only till October 2013 since the last polls gave the previous government a full five-year term in office beginning November 2008.