Maldives to nominate new SAARC secretary general soon

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Days after Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed quit as SAARC secretary-general amid a controversy, Maldives has conveyed that it would nominate a fresh candidate to occupy the post for the remainder of her tenure of over two years.

India was formally notified on Jan 23 of the resignation of Saeed. Her resignation has been accepted with effect from Jan 22.
“Notice of the acceptance of her resignation has been received from the Foreign Minister of the Maldives, in his capacity of the chair of the SAARC Council of Ministers, and via the SAARC Secretariat,” the external affairs ministry said here Saturday.
Saeed, a Maldivian national, assumed the post of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) secretary-general in March 2011 at the nomination of her government.
Maldives’ foreign minister has formally conveyed that he would soon propose a fresh candidate from his country to occupy the post for the remainder of Saeed’s tenure of over two years, said the ministry.
SAARC practice provides each member state an opportunity, on an alphabetical rotation basis, to nominate a candidate of their choice as secretary-general of SAARC for a three-year term.
Saaed resigned after the Maldives government voiced outrage over her remarks against the arrest of the atoll country’s Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
“I did not interfere with any internal affairs of the Maldives and I will submit my resignation,” she was quoted as saying in the media.
This is the first time a SAARC secretary general has resigned before the expiry of term since the founding in 1985 of the regional body, which then consisted of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Later, Afghanistan joined SAARC as its eighth member.
Maldives, the Indian ocean atoll nation comprising nearly 1200 islands, hosted the 17th SAARC summit Nov 10-11 last year.