Maldives govt appoint panel to probe coup charges

Colombo: Maldives` new regime has appointed a commission to probe allegations of coup against it following President Mohammed Nasheed`s ouster, Male`s envoy here said today, while accusing the toppled leader`s MDP of reneging on an India-brokered deal to resolve the political impasse.

The 3-member inquiry commission appointed by President Mohammed Waheed Hassan is headed by Ismail Shafeeu and its other members are Ahmed Mujthaba and Ibrahim Yasir, Maldivian High Commissioner to Colombo, Hussain Shihab, told reporters. "The commission will make a full report of its investigations into events in the Maldives from January 14 to February 8," Shihab said.

Shihab`s comments came amid Nasheed`s allegations that he was forced to stepped down in a coup d`etat. The ousted President and his MDP party are demanding early elections. 44-year-old Nasheed, the first democratically-elected President of Maldives, had resigned on February 7 after weeks of public protests against his rule and he was replaced by his deputy Hassan, 59.

Commenting on the India-brokered deal between Nasheed`s MDP and the new government on solving the political impasse, Shihab accused the MDP of reneging on the accord. "The MDP has chosen not to follow the accord. They have not taken part in the talks," he said, adding India`s move was aimed at "de-escalating" the situation.

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai had last week asked the two warring sides to work towards consensus through dialogue. The parties were to sit and discuss ways to hold early elections and stop violent protests. Meanwhile, new Maldivian Vice President Mohamed Waheeduddin met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa here. Rajapaksa`s office said the President, during his talks with Waheeduddin, asserted the need for restoration of stability in Maldives.