Foreign ambassadors have warned of international restrictions on trade and financial transactions if there is no president-elect by the end of the current presidential term on November 11, former President Mohamed Nasheed said at a press briefing yesterday (October 30). To avert such a scenario, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate suggested two solutions: the Supreme Court should review its judgment to annul the September 7 presidential election, or one of the two rival candidates should withdraw his candidacy “for the sake of the nation and Islam” ahead of the fresh polls scheduled for November 9. “Ambassadors of foreign nations that I meet are now saying very openly that if there is no president-elect by November 11 they would have to take action under their normal rules or procedures,” Nasheed said. A nation without an elected president is considered a dictatorship and prone to instability and unrest by the international community, he added. Nasheed referred to financial sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe on troubled states such as Sudan and Myanmar.
If similar sanctions are imposed on the Maldives, Nasheed said the country would face difficulties in both importing essential goods, such as oil, medicine and foodstuffs, and continuing to export fish to Europe.
“If we cannot hold an election, we will be forced to conduct all business transactions overseas with cash,” he continued, as restrictions would apply to transactions through foreign financial institutions and banks.
“We are concerned because we can see Maldivians having to bear this burden. We are concerned that our rivals, even under these circumstances, are trying to stop the election and maintain the coup government,” said Nasheed.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg this week heard calls from UK MEP Charles Tannock to apply “maximum pressure” to reverse what he described as a “judicial coup” in the Maldives.