Mon, February 13, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > Maldives crisis - Trouble in paradise

Commonwealth team visits Maldives to probe power transfer

2012-02-13 12:57:24 GMT2012-02-13 20:57:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MALE, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) - A Commonwealth Ministerial Mission is to arrive here Tuesday to probe the controversial power transfer from former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed to his successor Mohammed Waheed.

A spokesman from the Commonwealth Secretariat said a three- member team will talk to all parties, including President Waheed, former President Nasheed, members of other parties and members of the judiciary.

The visit comes following an extraordinary teleconference by the 54-member group's democracy watchdog, Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) on Sunday which discussed the findings of a Commonwealth fact-finding mission which rushed to the island nation early last week following political upheaval.

The nine-nation CMAG decided to send a ministerial mission to ascertain the facts surrounding the transfer of power, and to promote adherence to Commonwealth values and principles.

The meeting convened by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma and chaired by Surujrattan Rambachan, minister for foreign affairs and communications of Trinidad and Tobago. Also included in the group were Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

At the meeting, the CMAG said that it is up to the Maldivians themselves to decide their future course of action, through inclusive political dialogue in an atmosphere of non-violence, restraint and stability.

After a week of political turmoil, the 1200-atolls archipelago which is renowned as a tourist attraction seems calm but former President Nasheed who refused Waheed's rule called for daily demonstrations demanding president's resignation and a snap poll.?

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