UN envoy in Maldives, ex-president urges fresh polls
A UN special envoy arrived today for talks with the new administration in the Maldives, as former president Mohamed Nasheed called for fresh elections after being ousted in what he called a coup d'etat.India readies 'contingency plan' | Arrest warrant issued for Nasheed | Police accuses Nasheed party of 'terrorism' | Watch video | Tense calmworld Updated: Feb 10, 2012 09:44 IST
A UN special envoy arrived on Friday for talks with the new administration in the Maldives, as former president Mohamed Nasheed called for fresh elections after being ousted in what he called a coup d'etat.
Assistant secretary general Oscar Fernandez-Taranco reached the capital Male early Friday and was due to hold talks with new president Mohamed Waheed.
"There will be a meeting with the UN delegation in the morning," presidential spokesman Masood Imad said.
The UN envoy had been invited by Nasheed when he was still president to help end a standoff with opposition parties over the arrest and detention of a senior judge.
Three weeks of opposition-led protests were capped by a police mutiny that led to Nasheed's dramatic resignation on Tuesday.
Violence gripped the holiday paradise archipelago a day later when Nasheed said he had been forced to step down by a conspiracy hatched with Waheed's knowledge.
Nasheed, who became the Maldives' first democratically elected president in 2008, told a meeting of his senior party workers on Thursday night that Waheed should resign.
"He must step down and then the speaker of the majlis (parliament) can hold elections within two months," he told thousands of supporters who later dispersed peacefully.
The UN envoy made it clear that he was not there to dictate how the political upheaval of recent days should be resolved.
"There can be no externally generated solution to something that can be solved by Maldivians themselves," Fernandez-Taranco said, adding that the UN was concerned for Nasheed's safety.
"I would personally urge all actors to end the resorting to violence," he told reporters at the airport.
Diplomatic sources said the new government was under international and regional pressure not to risk another wave of unrest by carrying out a warrant for Nasheed's arrest.
Friday is a public holiday in the Islamic state of 330,000 Sunni Muslims and most shops and offices remained closed with no overnight reports of fresh clashes.