New Delhi: The Maldives and India need to rebuild mutual trust, former Maldivian foreign minister Dunya Maumoon said after a meeting with India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Sunday.

Maumoon is the daughter of former Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled the atoll nation for three decades. He joined hands with Mohammed Nasheed, Maldives’ first democratically elected president, in the 2018 elections to put up a joint opposition candidate—Ibrahim Mohamed Solih—against President Abdullah Yameen for the 23 September polls.

Maumoon said in a Twitter post that she was on an unofficial visit to India “on behalf of" her father, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Her visit comes as judges on Sunday heard a petition by president Yameen to have his recent election defeat annulled.

The China-friendly Yameen lost heavily in the 23 September elections to a little-known Solih, despite his main rivals being in jail or in exile.

A statement on Saturday by his Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) said that the vote was the “most farcical election in living memory" with the organization “abysmal", vote-rigging “rampant" and many people unable to cast ballots.

India’s ties with the Maldives came under strain after Yameen declared emergency in the country on 5 February, following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticized trials. India had criticized the Yameen government for the imposition of the emergency and urged it to restore the credibility of the electoral, and political process by releasing political prisoners.

The Maldives Emergency was lifted 45 days later.

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