Male, Feb 17 (IANS) The Maldivian government Thursday agreed to hold early presidential elections, a step towards ending the ongoing political crisis in the island nation.
The country plunged into turmoil after president Mohamed Nasheed resigned Feb 7.
While releasing a roadmap, the Maldives'' new government said there exists an opportunity for all relevant parties and actors to come together to ensure stability, safety and security for all in the Maldives, and the continuity in the process of democratic reforms, Xinhua reported.
The new government, according to the roadmap, will hold discussions with all relevant parties to conduct elections at an early date. It will work towards the conditions that will permit such elections to take place including any necessary constitutional amendments.
The government will ensure the creation of conditions for genuine, free and fair multi-party elections, providing the opportunity for all candidates to compete equally in the elections in 2013.
The government has proposed that all sides will ensure that a period of calmness can prevail to ensure space for further discussions among the relevant parties. All leaders will call upon their followers to pursue political aims through dialogue and peaceful means.
Earlier in the day, in a triumph of diplomacy, India succeeded in brokering a political deal in the Maldives, with all political parties agreeing to hold elections "as early as possible", paving the way for a political reconciliation in the island nation.
The breakthrough came after Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, the second senior Indian diplomat to visit the Maldives after the dramatic transfer of power, held talks with key political figures, including ousted president Mohamed Nasheed and his successor Mohamed Waheed Hassan.
Mathai also met Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Thasmeen Ali of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Chief Justice of the Maldivian Supreme Court and the Speaker of the People''s Majlis.
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