Government: Committed to holding a free and fair election

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Dr. Mohamed Asim (R) greets an official from the EU. (File Photo/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The government of Maldives is committed to holding free, fair and credible elections in the country, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Maldives in a statement to the European Union.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement last Friday follows the statement issued by the EU, together with Ambassadors of France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, UK, Canada and US on Thursday expressing concern over the independence and transparency of the upcoming Maldivian Presidential Elections.

The Foreign Ministry said the Maldivian government fully concured that a legitimate and genuine opposition is a vital part of any healthy democracy. But that it was equally vital that all political parties conduct their business responsibly, in accordance with the Constitution and all relevant rules and regulations governing the Political Party Act.

“Attempts to undermine the Constitution and the laws of the land and to hoodwink the people and hype pre-election political rhetoric cannot be considered as responsible political activities and thus will not have any place in the current political landscape of the country,” said the Foreign Ministry in its statement.

It said that action taken by the Maldivian government to stop illegal and irresponsible activities by political parties and maintain law and peace in the country should not be considered attempts to curtail fundamental Constitutional rights by the international community.

It appealed to the international community, especially the EU to urge and encourage opposition parties to refrain from illegal activities and to genuinely demonstrate their full support and commitment to ensure the conduct of a smooth, transparent, credible and an inclusive elections process.

The Foreign Ministry said that all elections held during the past decade have been declared free, fair and credible by international and local observers. It expressed confidence the Presidential Elections 2018, scheduled for September, will be a free and fair election.

It said “all eligible candidates are granted an equal opportunity to contest.”