MDP Calls Upon President Yameen to Allow Free and Fair Elections

15 July 2018, MALÉ

The Maldivian Democratic Party notes with bemusement today’s statement from President Yameen’s administration proclaiming Attorney General, Anil Mohamed’s instructions to his colleagues regarding the permitting of equal opportunities for the Presidential campaigns of all political parties.

Perfunctionary statements by the Government appear as an attempt to hoodwink the international community and specifically the European Union from on the ground realities where state power is misused on a daily basis to prevent the opposition from engaging in peaceful political activity.

The MDP would like to ask Attorney General, Anil Mohamed and his cabinet colleagues who will be held accountable for the ongoing denial of fundamental rights, discrimination and arbitrary refusal of opposition campaign activities, despite there being any legislation that allows him to do so.

This includes
– barring opposition candidates of choice from contesting in the Presidential elections,
– arbitrary arrests of hundreds of opposition members including all opposition leaders,
– engineering gross miscarriages of justice through sham trials,
– Using the Police to forcefully and unlawfully disrupt Opposition campaign activities
– Facilitating state aligned individuals to attempt to disrupt and assault Opposition members on the campaign trail
– Blatant discrimination in the allocation of public space for political activities,
– Ordering the military to occupy Parliament, whose members have physically manhandled and evicted elected Members of Parliament out of the building,
– The use of Parliament as a rubber stamp to pass legislation in violation of Parliamentary procedures to bar opposition candidates,
– Ordering the Military and Police to forcefully enter the Supreme Court and unlawfully arrest the Chief Justice for ruling for the restoration of rights and reviewal of several cases of mistrials involving Political prisoners
– Total disrespect of international human rights treaties the Maldives’ are signatory to,
– Criminalisation of defamation and exorbitant fines imposed on specific media outlets by a politically compromised broadcasting regulator,

The MDP understands President Yameen’s administration is now concerned about international views with regard to the Government’s refusal to allow an environment conducive for free and fair elections. The MDP hopes that such concern will translate to concrete actions including the release of political prisoners, restoration of civil and political rights and the reformation of shamelessly politicised regulatory bodies such as the Election Commission.