Commonwealth watchdog criticizes Maldives probe on alleged coup

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 17, 2012 09:30 hrs

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has criticized an inquiry that was set up by the Maldives to investigate an alleged coup described as 'neither independent nor impartial'.

The watchdog has already suspended Maldives from the CMAG, the most powerful panel of the Commonwealth body, after the recent turmoil in the country that led to the ouster of its first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed.

The watchdog, a nine-strong group of foreign ministers that investigates human rights and democracy issues, has threatened to take further action if the commission did not change within four weeks, the BBC reported

The inquiry has the responsibility of investigating events that led to the transfer of power in February.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed had alleged that President Mohamed Waheed Hussein Manik, his former vice-president, conspired with the opposition and military to oust him.

However, Waheed has denied the charges.

In its report, CMAG reiterated its call for Waheed's government to conduct elections before the end of 2012.

But earlier this week, the government said victories in two by-elections gave it a mandate to keep governing until the end of 2013, when the next polls were scheduled.

The by-elections were called after the disqualification of two MPs by the country's highest court in the weeks after Waheed came to power. (ANI)

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