Nasheed clarifies statement regarding Indian influence in 2018 election

Former President of Maldives and current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has refuted reports that he attributed main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s electoral win in the 2018 presidential election to Indian influence.

Heavy criticism has been directed at Nasheed over some statements he made to an Indian media regarding the 2018 elections. The opposition has stated that Nasheed's remarks that attributed MDP's electoral win to India's influence must be investigated.

Nasheed on Sunday published a tweet clarifying his statements. In his tweet, Nasheed said his remarks are being misinterpreted, and said that India has never meddled in Maldivian elections. Nasheed was merely referring to India's encouragement to conduct a free and fair presidential election, and that the pressure it presented helped ensure a free and fair vote, said Nasheed.

The Maldives faced international pressure ahead of the 2018 presidential election when then-president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom jailed all opposition leaders, and obstructed opposition leaders from returning to Maldives after they left the country. At the time, several countries had expressed their concern whether a free and fair election could be conducted in the Maldives.

After the opposition coalition won the election, President Yameen first accepted the results of the election, and stated that he respected the peoples' decision. However, he later alleged electoral fraud, and refused to accept the outcome of the election. He raised several serious allegations against the members of the Elections Commission.

President Yameen and senior members of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) still continue to allege that the 2018 election was 'stolen' from them.