Former Commonwealth secretary-general Sir Donald McKinnon of New Zealand has been appointed a Commonwealth special envoy to the Maldives following political tension there.
He will be looking into a transfer of power which saw President Mohamed Waheed take over from Mohamed Nasheed, who was deposed last month.
Mr Nasheed was the Maldives' first democratically elected leader.
A political standoff sparked by the coup came to a head on Wednesday when Mr Nasheed's supporters staged protests, preventing the new leader from opening parliament.
During his time leading the Commonwealth, Sir Donald worked to support the Maldives move to a multi-party democracy.