Statement of the Government of Maldives in response to the statement issued by the United States of America on 6 September 2018

07 September 2018

The Government of Maldives takes note with concern the statement issued by the United States Department of State on 6 September 2018.

The Government of Maldives views this statement, on the eve of the Presidential Elections, as an act of intimidation, imposing undue influence on the democratic processes of a sovereign state. Such statements are not helpful, and we urge the United States of America and all international partners to allow the people of the Maldives to freely decide on 23 September on who should lead them for the next five years.

The Government of Maldives reiterates its commitment to hold free, fair and credible elections and has been working closely with the Elections Commission and all other relevant stakeholders to achieve this objective. The two competing candidates in the election are actively campaigning and hosting rallies across the country, in a democratic and conducive environment on a level playing field for both candidates. The Elections Commission of the Maldives has been very transparent about the election process and has been engaging with the public and the political parties to ensure that their concerns are well addressed. The Elections Commission has also invited a number of International Observers to monitor this year’s Presidential Elections.

The Government recognizes the keen interest of some of its international partners, including the United States of America, in the political developments in the country and their efforts to help consolidate democracy in the Maldives. However, such interests, if pursued through intimidation and unnecessary threats of coercive actions, in such a highly contested election, especially just few weeks before the election date, would not be in the best interest of the Maldivian people.

It should be noted that the Maldives has no political prisoners, and all those who have been convicted have undergone due process. Furthermore, the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018 was nullified, in part, by the Supreme Court by its Court Order no 2018/SC-SJ/03, issued on 6 February 2018. Other parts of it were suspended by its Court Order No 2018/SC-VA-J/01 issued on 18 February 2018. Therefore, there is now no legal mandate to implement the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018.

On 23 September, the people of the Maldives should be allowed to cast their votes without any form of interference or intimidation. Similarly, the election officials should be allowed to manage the election process and hold the election as per the Constitution of the Maldives and the relevant laws and regulations of the country. Let the people of the Maldives decide on their democratic journey.