Maldives protests over ex-leader

MALE — The Maldives has summoned India’s ambassador and made a strong protest over a standoff involving opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed who has taken refuge in the Indian embassy, an official said Monday.

MALE — The Maldives has summoned India’s ambassador and made a strong protest over a standoff involving opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed who has taken refuge in the Indian embassy, an official said Monday.

The former president has been in the embassy since Wednesday to evade arrest after he failed to appear in court on charges which his party considers politically motivated and designed to disqualify him from politics.

The foreign ministry summoned Indian High Commissioner D.M. Mulay Sunday to receive a formal protest over his chancery being used to “instigate violence and instability” in the capital island, an official source said.

The source told AFP that the Maldives had urged New Delhi to “stop interfering” in local politics and to uphold diplomatic norms and international law.

Presidential press secretary Masood Imad confirmed that a “very strong protest” had been delivered to the Indian envoy on Sunday.

The Indian government urged its tiny neighbour last week to guarantee “the integrity of the electoral process” before presidential polls in September, but has denied interfering.

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