Maldives' new regime says open to scrutiny over coup charges

Maldives' new regime says open to scrutiny over coup charges

 Facing coup charges, Maldives' new President Mohamed Waheed Hassen today said he is open to any independent probe into transfer of power in the country, where the Commonwealth is sending a fact-finding team amid efforts by nations like India to resolve the political crisis.

Nearly a week after Mohamed Nasheed, the country's first democratically-elected President, stepped down in what he claimed was a coup d'etat, the 54-nation Commonwealth grouping announced that it would "urgently" send a ministerial mission to the Maldives to probe circumstances of Nasheed's ouster.

The Commonwealth's decision came after an emergency telephone conference of the nine-member Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).

Meanwhile, the United Nations said it is "important" that the circumstances leading to last week's "traumatic" events should be probed as part of a national reconciliation process, but made it clear that it should be a Maldivian-led process.

"It is important that events and circumstances leading to the event should be investigated, it should be an important part of a national reconciliation process. It is extremely important that uncertainties that have surrounded these events shall be clarified," UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said here.

CMAG, in its "extraordinary" session, agreed to constitute a ministerial mission which will visit the Maldives "urgently to ascertain the facts surrounding the transfer of power, and to promote adherence to Commonwealth values and principles," the Commonwealth Secretariat said in a statement issued in London.

It stressed that the way forward must be determined by Maldivians themselves, through inclusive political dialogue in an atmosphere of non-violence, restraint and stability