UN agrees to mediate talks between Maldivian government, opposition

United Nations has made the decision to mediate talks between the Maldivian government and opposition political parties in order to resolve political conflicts.

The Maldivian government invited political parties in the country to resume all-party talks amid the current political turmoil. And the opposition coalition sent a letter to Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Gutierrez requesting that the UN mediate the talks.

The UN had offered to mediate talks between the government and the opposition in the past as well.

The government coalition has taken the stand internal conflicts must be solved between the government and the opposition with no foreign involvement, while the opposition coalition has stated it will only participate in talks if the government agrees to let UN mediate the talks in order to secure the release of politicians sentenced to prison.

In response to the letter sent by the opposition, Spokesperson for Secretary-General Gutierrez, Stéphane Dujarric stated last Friday that the UN was well aware of what the opposition was requesting, and promised the all-party talks will resume soon.

The Spokesperson said it was Gutierrez’s wish to resolve political conflicts in Maldives through dialogue.

The opposition, in its letter to Gutierrez, welcomed the government’s invitation for talks, but said the government’s invitation lacked any real intent, and was simply a ploy to alleviate international pressure.

The opposition asked the UN to pressure the Maldivian government to create a suitable environment for the all-party talks.

The current political turmoil follows the unprecedented Supreme Court order for the immediate release and retrial of nine politicians and the immediate reinstatement of 12 parliamentarians, on February 1.

Leader of main opposition political party MDP’s parliamentary group, Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) confirmed the opposition received an invitation by President’s Office for all-party talks.

He said the response to the invitation has been sent to the UN.

Ibu said the opposition has no intention of sitting down for talks until the government releases all politicians it has arrested during the State of Emergency.

Conditions set by the opposition:

- The UN must act as mediator.

- The government must follow the Constitution.

- Supreme Court’s order on February 1 must be immediately enforced.

- The two Supreme Court judges must be released, and the Chief Justice must start running the Supreme Court again.

- Those arrested during the State of Emergency but be immediately released.