UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked Maldivians to refrain from violence amidst the takeover of a new government after the resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed.
Mohammed Waheed Hassan is the new President of the Indian Ocean island nation known more for its lavish beach resorts than political turmoil.
In a statement, Ban expressed his strong hope that this handover of power, which has been announced as a constitutional step to avoid further violence and instability, will lead to the peaceful resolution of the political crisis that has polarized the country in recent months.
Ban called on all Maldivians to refrain from violence and engage constructively in addressing the challenges their country is facing and to protect and build upon the important gains the Maldives has made in recent years in establishing democracy and rule of law.
He acknowledged the important contributions of Nasheed, the country's first democratically-elected President, to the establishment of democracy in the Maldives and his role in raising international awareness of the dangers of climate change and rising seas.