India on Thursday asked the Abdulla Yameen government in the Maldives to restore the Rule of Law and start a genuine dialogue with the opposition to re-start the stalled political process before going in for the September 2018 Presidential election.
An official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the lifting of the 45-day State of Emergency on Thursday, but pointed out that â€œa number of concerns expressed by the international community still remain to be addressed.â€
It then went on to say: â€œAs a neighbor whose security is closely intertwined with that of the Maldives, India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives that meets the aspirations of its citizens.â€
Getting down to specifics, the Indian statement asked the government of Maldives â€œto restore all Articles of the Constitution; allow the Supreme Court and all other branches of the judiciary to operate in full independence;Â promote and support the free and proper functioning of parliament; implement the Supreme Courtâ€™s Full Bench order of February 1 2018; and support a genuine political dialogue with all opportunities.â€
It further said that it is â€œimportant for the government of the Maldives to ensure credible restoration of the political process as the well as the Rule of Law, before the elections are announced this year.â€
The Maldivian Presidential election is due in September and preparations are already on.
As on date, incumbent President Abdulla Yameen is the sole candidate. The opposition is yet to announce its candidate or candidates are most of the top notch leaders are either in jail or disqualified or are fugitives from justice such as Mohamed Nasheed.