Diplomacy Politics

India expresses concern over political developments in Maldives

NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over political developments in the Maldives, India on Thursday called for early resumption of the political process in the island nation.

The spokesperson in the ministry of external affairs Raveesh Kumar said India feels allowing democratic institutions including the judiciary to function independently will help create a conducive environment in that country.

“We welcomed lifting the State of Emergency and called upon the government of Maldives to ensure early resumption of the political process and allow democratic institutions including the judiciary to function independently in a fair and transparent manner,” he said during a press briefing.

This, he said, will create a conducive environment for the smooth conduct of the elections in the Maldives later this year.

Earlier this month, India had expressed its “deep dismay” over a Maldivian court sentencing the island nation’s former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the chief justice of its Supreme Court to long prison terms without a “fair trial”.

Since the beginning of the political crisis there, India has repeatedly urged the Maldivian government to allow all institutions, including its Supreme Court and Parliament, to function in an independent manner and permit genuine political dialogue between all political parties.

Ties between India and Maldives nosedived after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared an emergency on February 5, following an order by the Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders who had been convicted in widely-criticised trials.

On February 21, India reacted strongly to the extension of emergency by a month. The emergency was lifted 45 days later.

In February, Maldives declined India’s invitation to participate in the eight-day mega naval exercise – Milan – from March 6-13.

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