27 March 2012
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is concerned at the many queries directed at Travel Agents and Tourism Related Organisations by members of the international travelling public. MDP has also been contacted in this regard and we are informed that the main concern is with respect to the lack of correct information as to the current situation in the Maldives.
We therefore issue the following the press release.
“Maldivians are demanding free and fair elections because President Mohamed Nasheed has been forced to resign as a result of a coup brought about by a police mutiny. The police forces who mutinied on the 7th of February 2012 were joined by some members of the Maldivian National Defence Forces and some members of opposition parties who name themselves as a National Alliance who had entered the Police Headquarters without authorization on the morning of 7th February and very shortly hijacked the Maldives National Broadcasting Service. The democratically elected government of President Nasheed has been overthrown and now the Alliance members occupy seats in Cabinet. The former Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed who has assumed the role of President has met with the Alliance members in several meetings a week prior to 7th of February. Further, there is compelling material as supporting evidence that the change of government, without a doubt, has been brought about by a coup.
The Maldivian Democratic Party is the biggest political party in the country with a membership and support base of over 100,000 persons across the country. Hence a series of mass protests are being held day and night, calling for early elections. The international community including the Commonwealth, EU and many countries in the region has repeatedly called for the need to hold early elections to establish legitimacy and return to democracy.
President Nasheed has recently met with members of the diplomatic community based in Sri Lanka and the support and call for early elections have been reiterated.
The All-Party talks which is being held in the Maldives to find a solution to the current dilemma have initially come to an agreement on a date for early elections, but the talks have been jeopardized by powerful elements who do not belong to a political party but would like the status quo to remain as long as possible, which is regrettable as democracy is being derailed. Hence it is expected that protests will continue until a date for early elections is agreed upon.
Tourists who visit the beautiful islands of the Maldives are not nameless, faceless bodies; they are often conscientious people who genuinely care about the well-being of the average Maldivian citizen. It is never the intention of the MDP, nor we believe that of any political party in the Maldives, to harm the tourism industry of the Maldives, but we believe tourists have to be informed with the correct facts.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs