The country, which holds immense geostrategic significance for India, is in a highly volatile state and the upcoming polls are being viewed as a veritable semi-final before its presidential elections.
In this exclusive conversation with Rediff.com contributor Rajeev Sharma, exiled Opposition leader Ahmed Naseem explains why the world should care about democracy in Maldives.
Even as the domestic politics of the Maldives goes through a tailspin, this strategically important SAARC country is scheduled to hold local council elections soon.
Not much is known about these elections, but given the volatile state the Maldivian polity is currently in, the polls are being viewed as a semi-final before the archipelago nation’s presidential elections next year.
Former Maldives foreign minister Ahmed Naseem, left — a senior leader of the Opposition Maldives Democratic Party and close aide of former president Mohammed Nasheed — tells the world about the significance of the upcoming local elections.
The first of a two-part interview from Colombo, where Naseem has been living in exile for two years:
Now that former president Nasheed has left Colombo for the UK, where he has been living for quite some time, what have he, you and other party colleagues decided about the roadmap for the MDP?
In February 2017, the MDP elected reputable lawyer and former minister Hassan Latheef as the new chairperson.
The MDP’s previous chairperson, Ali Waheed, has had to be in exile due to terrorism charges framed against him.
He resigned some months ago stating his intention to allow someone without pending charges and living in Malé to get elected to the post.
The new chairperson will work to strengthen the structure and make more efficient the party’s administration, convening regular meetings of its national council as well as committees and pave the way for a scheduled party congress.
Right now, the party’s elections committee is active in campaigning nation-wide for upcoming local council elections.
The party’s upcoming congress will facilitate fresh internal elections, leading up to primaries, especially in readiness for the 2018 presidential elections.
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