MDP PRESS STATEMENT: MDP Calls for Calm and Maximum Restraint Ahead of 14 April Bi-Elections and Welcomes Election Commissions Readiness for Early Elections

Reference: 49/04/2012
12April 2012

MDP calls for calm and to show maximum restraint from all parties ahead of the bi-elections for two Parliamentary seats on 14 April. Recognizing the Maldives held free and fair democratic Presidential elections (2008), Parliamentary elections (2009) and local council elections (2011), MDP has full confidence in the country’s first independent election commission to ensure the upcoming bi-elections to be free and fair. In this regard, MPD welcomes the Election Commissions recent statements on their readiness to hold elections as soon as possible.

MDP also welcomes the American Government’s decision to observe the upcoming bi-elections of the two parliamentary seats. MDP strongly calls on the US authorities and other international organisations to remind Dr. Waheed’s regime, the Maldives Police Services and all other stakeholders in the Maldives to act with integrity and maximum restraint to help this election to be impartial, free and fair.

Although MDP is deeply concerned that both our candidates’ campaigns have faced harassment, MDP is still confident the Election Commission would ensure the upcoming bi-elections free and fair and calls on all international organisations to closely monitor and observe these bi-elections.

On the issue of early elections, MDP highlights with regret that on April 6, DhunyaMaumoon, daughter of Mr. Gayyoom and the State Minister for Foreign Affairs have said on BBC that elections cannot be held in the foreseeable future citing conditions are not right and institutions are not prepared to hold early elections. Her comments come following several public statements from the Elections Commissioner on their readiness to hold free and fair elections in the Maldives at any given time. Furthermore, her comments do not reflect any positive response to our international partners’ including the EU and the Commonwealths’ call to ensure the free expression of the popular will of the people through elections as soon as possible.

The MDP gives its highest assurance that MDP would not support anything that would instigate violence and calls on all its members and supporters to act along with the regulations of political party campaigning to ensure a peaceful environment.

“It is a deeply concerning that the regime is manipulating facts on the ground to delay holding an early election in the Maldives. Sending police in riot gear to these two islands will only provoke things at this moment and later the regime would claim conditions are not there to hold early elections. We want our development partners to closely observe what is happening in the Maldives now. We will give our full support to the election commission to ensure this is a free and fair election”said Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, MDP spokesperson for international affairs.

Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs
Mobile: +9607778285
Tel: +9603340044