New York: Nearly two months after he was ousted as Maldives' President, Mohamed Nasheed has said he will visit India next month to seek support for his efforts to hold early elections and restore a democratically-elected government in his country.
Forty four-year-old Nasheed, who became Maldives' first democratically-elected President following multi-party polls in October 2008, had resigned on February 7 in what he claims was a coup.
He said he was shocked at the US and Indian governments' rapid move to recognise the new regime headed by Mohammad Waheed Hassan after he was ousted from power. "I will go to India in the middle of next month and plan to meet as many political leaders as possible," including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nasheed said in New York.
"I would like to ask the people of India to be with us and to not let go (of their support for us). They should not let dictatorship return to Maldives. We have to have early elections. We can come back on track again. We definitely need the support of India," he said.
Nasheed, who is in the US for the release of a documentary on climate change, said he hopes India will "come around" and support him even though it had moved quickly to recognise the new regime in Maldives.
"I will talk to the Indian people. Our love for India will never die. When we start talking to the people, the Indian government will also listen. Whatever may be the reason that India was unable to do what we wanted them to do, but I think they will come around," he said, adding that he is encouraged that India is now realigning its policies.
He vowed to continue his fight to bring democracy back on track in Maldives, saying he will not let go and contest elections to return to power.