21 March 2012, Male’; The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah today responded to the statement issued yesterday by Baroness Catherine Ashton on behalf of European Union with regard to the situation in the Maldives. In his response, the Foreign Minister thanked the EU for its continued engagement with the Maldives and expressed his determination to work with the EU and other international partners in resolving the political tensions in the Maldives.
In a letter to Baroness Ashton, Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah reaffirmed the Government's commitment to resolving the current political tensions and to reassert normal democratic processes and rule of law. The Minister noted that the Constitution of the Maldives establishes a presidential system in which the President and Vice-President are elected together by popular vote. Thus when the President resigns the democratically-elected Vice-President becomes President.
The Minister also noted that the Government has already established an independent investigation mechanisms to look into events of 7th February. That mechanism has requested international support for the completion of its mandate.
The Foreign Minister also wrote that in the interests of promoting national unity, President Dr Mohamed Waheed has given a commitment to discuss the possibility of holding early elections, provided that there is consensus to do so among political parties, and that the necessary amendments are made to the Constitution.