Commonwealth has appointed a new special to the Maldives to facilitate dialog between politicians in a bid to calm the raging political strife in the archipelago.
Kenya's outgoing Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who retired Thursday will take up the post as the special envoy to the Maldives where he is expected to aid in the process of constitutional and political transition.
“The overarching mandate is to support a sustainable political dialogue process leading to a stronger climate of pluralism and inclusive elections in 2018,” Dr Mutunga was quoted by the Kenyan media.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s jailing on a terror charge last year was a key trigger of the current political crisis. He was allowed to leave the country in an internationally brokered deal in January.
Nasheed won the country’s first multiparty election in 2008, defeating Gayoom’s half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled the country from 1978.
Nasheed, however, resigned three years into his presidency amid public protests for ordering the military to detain a sitting judge.
Jameel had meanwhile fled to the UK last July days before he was impeached in a controversial vote. At the time, the Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim were already in jail.
Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in jail last year but was given asylum in Britain after traveling there for back surgery. Nazim is serving an 11-year jail term for possessing a firearm, and former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor was sentenced to 25 years in prison last week on two counts of terrorism charges, including an assassination attempt on the president.
All these convictions have been decried for a lack of due process.