17 March 2012
The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) welcomes the latest statement (16 March) by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) which reiterates the view that early elections are vital in order to establish faith in those who govern the country.
In its statement, CMAG continued “to be strongly of the view that the earliest possible expression of the will of the people was required to establish universal faith in the legitimacy of those who govern the country”. MDP agrees that in a democracy, the government must be made up of people elected by the people through free and fair elections. MDP notes that the current government is made up mainly of people who lost the last election – especially people close to the former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
MDP also shares CMAG’s disappointment and concern “at the lack of progress achieved so far through the All-Party Talks process to arrive at a political settlement in Maldives that would enable the holding of early elections in the current calendar year, as expected by the Group. It urged all parties to engage in dialogue without delay, in earnest and in good faith with a view to achieving agreement on the date of early elections, and the processes required to do so, including any necessary constitutional amendments and supporting legislation”.
MDP remains ready to participate in the talks which it hopes will be reconvened as soon as possible. It reiterates its view, made recently by its parliamentary group leader, that all sides must be willing to talk and to compromise to resolve the current crisis. MDP remains ready to meet other parties half-way.
MDP echoes the concern of CMAG that its views on the composition of the mechanism established to look into events leading up to and following the forced resignation of President Nasheed. MDP had called for a strong international presence on the Commission. Instead the Commission is made up of three Maldivians, and chaired by a former minister in President Gayoom’s government. Not withstanding, MDP calls on the Commonwealth and the UN to ensure strong international assistance for the Commission in the form of international experts who will be involved in the investigation and decision-making processes of the Commission. MDP welcomes CMAG’s offer in this regard.
In its statement, CMAG expressed its continued concern that former President Nasheed receives the freedoms and privileges due to a former head of government. MDP notes recent legal threats made against President Nasheed by the President’s Office and by members of the PPM party.
MDP agrees with CMAG’s call for all parties in Maldives to act with maximum restraint and mutual respect in their public statements and actions. MDP insists that its protests will always by peaceful and remains ready for talks for all parties.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs