The Maldivian government agreed Thursday to hold early presidential elections after intervention by the Indian government.
Our guest blogger is Glenn Hurowitz, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. Follow him on Twitter @glennhurowitz.
The Obama administration has announced its support for the junta that ousted democratically elected Maldives president and climate hero Mohamed Nasheed in a military coup.
Even though President Nasheed was apparently forced to resign at gunpoint, the State Department has continued to address the coup-makers as the “legitimate government” of the Maldives, referred to Nasheed as the “former president,” and called the leader of the junta that seized power “President.” Here’s State Department spokesperson Ambassador Victoria Nuland last week:
In that context, Assistant Secretary Blake spoke this morning to former President Nasheed conveying our assurances that the United States supports a peaceful resolution of this, that we are also expressing our views to the government that his security should be protected, but also encouraging him, as we encouraged President Waheed, that this needs to be settled now peaceably through dialogue and through the formation, as the new president has pledged, of a national unity government. And as we said, Assistant Secretary Blake will be there on Saturday…
QUESTION: So does – the U.S. considers the new government a legitimate government of the Maldives?
MS. NULAND: We do.*
*The United States will work with the new Government of the Maldives but believes that the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power must be clarified, and suggests all parties agree to an independent mechanism to do so.
The italicized remarks were issued following Nuland’s briefing; the following day, she maintained the administration’s backing for the coup – saying that while “the circumstances need to be clarified,” the United States is “going to work with the government.”
In diplo-speak, that means, “We support the coup, though we’re putting on a display of squeamishness.” And that “national unity government?” The idea may sound good, but the people of the Maldives elected President Nasheed’s government. They certainly didn’t elect the aides of former dictator Abdul Gayoom that have been put into key cabinet posts. Read more