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Volume 541: debated on Tuesday 28 February 2012

12. What recent reports he has received on the political situation in the Maldives; and if he will make a statement. (96701)

We remain concerned and unclear about the events of 7 February, in which power transferred from President Nasheed to his vice-president. We welcome an independent inquiry into those events, and we strongly support the efforts of the Indian Government and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in seeking to secure early elections by the end of this year.

I thank the Minister for that response. Will he tell us what progress the Governments have made on securing a date for those early elections, following the transfer of power?

So far, it has not been possible to secure a date from the new Administration. We remain absolutely convinced that an early date for elections—before the end of this year—is essential, and we will continue to support the efforts of Commonwealth and international partners to secure that.

Given that we have no firm date for elections in the Maldives, will the Minister assure the House that the Government will look closely at any invitations to the Queen’s diamond jubilee that might be sent to an unelected Commonwealth President?

My hon. Friend is taking us down a particular route, but we will have to wait and see what happens. We are quite sure that we need answers from the Administration about what has happened. I am in regular contact with the former vice-president and with former President Nasheed, to whom I spoke less than a couple of hours ago. We are watching the situation extremely carefully, but there are still questions to be answered if the situation is to be regularised as far as the United Kingdom is concerned.