It was now time to put aside political rivalry, sit-down and find a way to hold a free, fair and inclusive presidential elections, self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed urged incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Sunday.
In his video message on 'Skype' for the campaign rally held in Alif Alif Atoll Ukulhas island, Nasheed said it was "unwise" to keep political leaders jailed and urged president Yameen to free them immediately.
Nasheed insisted that political leaders can sit-down together, ensure an inclusive presidential elections in order to find the much needed solutions for the Maldives.
"I want to tell president Yameen that it is now time. Its time for all of us to sit back down and work towards an inclusive presidential elections. I want to tell president Yameen that keeping president Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom] in prison is not prudent. Release him. Release Gasim [Ibrahim]. Release Sheikh Imran [Abdulla]. Colonel [Mohamed] Nazim and [Ahmed] Adheeb [Abdul Ghafoor] remains in prison. Lawmakers are in prison. Release them as well. Chief justice and judge Ali Hameed have been jailed. Release them. Former PG [prosecutor general] and former CP [commissioner of police] are in prison. Release them too. If we all reconcile and sit-down together, we can find the solutions Maldives need," Nasheed urged.
Nasheed lives in self imposed exile most recently in Sri Lanka after he was allowed to leave to the UK on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal following his jailing on terrorism charges.
Nasheed's 13 year prison sentence rules him out of the elections in September as per the constitution. But the ex-president is set to contest his party's presidential primary on May 30 unchallenged and has launched his campaign via Skype.
The elections commission however, has barred Nasheed from contesting in the upcoming main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential primary.
Commission has ordered the party not to go ahead with the primary pointing out that Nasheed's prison sentence disqualifies him as a presidential candidate.
The letter had also warned action if MDP holds the primary with Nasheed adding that the result of the elections would not be accepted.