With the political crisis in Maldives persisting, ousted president Mohammad Nasheed rejected a police summons to record his statement on his controversial order to arrest a key judge, even as India's top diplomat arrived in Male on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
Maldives new President Mohammed Waheed Hassan named Mohammed Waheed Deen, a minister in the government of former autocratic leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as his deputy.
Deen's appointment followed Hassan's assertion that he would appoint a Vice President with no political affiliations.
Hassan also denied allegations of a coup and said Nasheed had resigned after realising that he had lost the confidence of the people as well as that of his own administration, in particular the law and order enforcement arms.
"On his own accord, he (Nasheed) resigned, although he later claimed he had been ousted in a violent 'coup'," Hassan was quoted by his office as telling BBC Radio 4.
Amidst stepped up efforts by India and other key members of the international community to help ease the crisis, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai arrived in Male on Wednesday evening for talks with Maldivian leaders.
Mathai, who is accompanied by Harsvardhan Shringla, joint secretary (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives) in the external affairs ministry, is scheduled to hold talks with Hassan and then Nasheed, who has expressed his disappointment with India's stand on the turn of events here.
Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent his special envoy M Ganapathi, who held talks with both Hassan and Nasheed and sought a peaceful solution to the complex situation.
Since Nasheed's resignation, there have been a slew of diplomatic visits here from various countries, including US. Currently, an EU team is in Male.
Nasheed met the EU delegation and sought its support for his demand for early elections in the country.
"We want a mandate from the people as soon as possible. We want to go for elections as soon as possible," Maria Didi, an MP from Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), told reporters after the former President's meeting with the EU delegation.
Nasheed's meeting with the EU delegation came as he rejected police summons to record his statement.
The former president "will not speak to the police," which had sought his statement in connection with its probe into his order to the military to arrest a judge during his tenure, that had led to street protests culminating in his resignation, sources close to the ousted President said.
Police had on Tuesday said that Nasheed, who claims that he was forced to step down, was not cooperating with them.
Meanwhile, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) of former ruler Gayoom said international community cannot interfere with the internal affairs of Maldives unless we "welcome" them to do so, according to a media report.
"We believe that the international community has no role in the internal affairs of our country, they must keep their actions within acceptable contours, they should also respect our culture and religion," Haveeru quoted PPM spokesperson and Gayoom's daughter Dhunya Maumoon as saying.
She added, "We welcome independent institutions to investigate the transition of power, as there can be no lesson learnt unless we determine the events that led up to the incident."
Although the international community has so far been "deceived" by Nasheed's theatrics and it hailed him for introducing democracy in the nation, his "unconstitutional" actions would be revealed to the whole world, Maumoon said.
Maumoon's comments came amid claims by Nasheed that the PPM had a role to play in his ouster.