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India should ‘coerce Maldives for early polls: Nasheed

Former President says India had 'bungled' by by not recognising govt changeover as a 'coup'.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
April 19, 2012 3:28:27 pm

Two months after he quit as President of Maldives,Mohamed Nasheed today said India had “bungled” by not recognising the changeover as a “coup” and wants it to use “coercive” means against the new government to ensure fresh elections within this year.

Nasheed is not satisfied with the Maldives government’s announcement regarding holding of polls in July next year,saying it is not the early elections that he is pushing for.

“We want elections this calendar year,” he said in an interview here.

The 45-year-old leader,who is here with an intention of meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and some top officials,said India has a key role in ensuring that polls take place within this year itself.

Asked what India could do,he responded,”coercive action… India should go for coercive action to ensure early elections so that democracy is back on tracks.”

He did not elaborate on what kind of coercive action he wanted India to undertake and merely said,”they have the tools. The Indian Foreign Service armoury is full of many,many tools that they can use.

Nasheed resigned on February 7 after weeks of protests over his controversial order to arrest a senior judge. He later claimed it was a coup as he was forced to quit.

Insisting that he lost power because of the “coup”,Nasheed made clear his unhappiness over India’s stand,particularly the immediate recognition of the new government.

“They (India) bungled up. They should have said this was a coup. They should have held to their horses,” he said,adding “I was shocked,I am disappointed and I am sad” at India’s stand.

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