UN chief urges Maldivian parties to accept inquiry report

The report looked into the facts, circumstances and causes of the February 7 transfer of power in Maldives.

Updated: Aug 30, 2012, 22:11 PM IST

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked political parties in Maldives to accept the findings of an inquiry commission, which said the February transfer of power in the island nation was legal.

The report of the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) looked into the facts, circumstances and causes of the February 7 transfer of power in Maldives.

It found that former President Mohamed Nasheed was not ousted in a coup, as he had claimed. The report said Nasheed`s resignation was "voluntary and of his own free will" and was "not caused by any illegal coercion or intimidation."

A statement by the spokesperson of Ban, who is currently in Tehran for the NAM summit, said the Secretary-General welcomes the release of the report and "urges all parties" to accept the findings of the commission.

"The parties should now begin the process of national dialogue aimed at resolving the political problems facing the country," the statement said.

Ban is "concerned at the prospect of renewed political tensions should any side not accept the outcome of the inquiry. He calls on all parties to exercise maximum cooperation and restraint," it added.

Ban also welcomed the start of a high-level political dialogue, expressing hope that this would lead to national reconciliation and a way of moving forward.

"The Secretary-General calls on the parties to respect the Constitution, create a peaceful and transparent environment conducive to dialogue and take steps to strengthen democratic reform and institutions," the statement said reaffirming the readiness of the UN to extend necessary support and assistance requested by the parties.

Nasheed, the first democratically-elected President of Maldives, has maintained that he was removed from power in a "coup d`etat" but the inquiry report said the political crisis that unfolded in Maldives in early February was in large measure, "reactions to the actions" of 45-year-old Nasheed.

Following his removal from power, Nasheed had expressed shock at the United States and Indian governments` rapid move to recognise the new regime headed by Waheed.
Welcoming the release of the report, the US commended the Commission co-chairs for their leadership and commitment to a thorough and inclusive investigation and review process.

"The United States has consistently called for all Maldivians to respect the findings of the Commission of National Inquiry. Now that the Commission has released its report we urge all parties to respect those findings, to exercise restraint, obey the rule of law, and continue to express themselves in a peaceful and nonviolent manner," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

"Now is the time for all parties to work together through dialogue to chart a positive way forward that respects the Maldivian constitution, democratic institutions, human rights, and the will of the Maldivian people," she said.