“Potential for trouble”: UN Security Council briefed on Maldives

The UN Security Council has been briefed on the situation in the Maldives, following the suspension of the run-off elections, ongoing protests and the submission of a “letter of concern” signed by senior military officers to their leadership.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco briefed the Security Council on Wednesday.

Citing a diplomatic source present at the briefing, AFP reported the senior UN official as warning the 15-nation council that recent democratic gains were “under threat” and that there was “potential for trouble”.

“We continue to follow the situation in the Maldives with concern in light of the mounting tension following the postponement of the second round of its presidential election,” said the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky, at a press briefing on Friday.

The UN Security Council Briefing came a day after Acting Foreign Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela addressed the UN General Assembly, and blamed “external forces” for “concerted efforts to prevent the emergence of an indigenous democratic system of governance in the Maldives [by] attempting to shape the outcome of, what is, an internal issue”.

“Democracy consolidation is not just about holding elections. Nor is it about having a democratically sound Constitution. In the Maldives too, we quickly found that changing the Constitution, or having a multi-party election, did not instill democratic values within our society,” Dr Shakeela told the UN.


The Supreme Court indefinitely postponed the second round of the run-off elections, initially scheduled for September 28, after third-placed candidate Gasim Ibrahim alleged electoral irregularities and declared “God Willing, Gasim will be President on November 11″.

The injunction was issued despite unanimous positive assessments of the polling by local and international election observers. The EC meanwhile contested the credibility of the evidence submitted to the court, observing that even if factual it was insufficient to impact the results of the first round. The subsequent delay of the second round was met with global concern.

Gasim was nonetheless joined in the case by second-placed Abdulla Yameen, and Attorney General Azima Shukoor, his former lawyer.

A second Supreme Court ruling issued at midnight prior to the vote ordered police and military to enforce the suspension, leading to police surrounding the Elections Commission (EC) and issuing an ultimatum. The EC relented, stating that it would be unable to hold the election without police and state cooperation, and noting that its staff had received threats of death and arson.

Now, two weeks after the suspension of the election, the hearing for the Supreme Court’s verdict has yet to be scheduled.

Protests resulting from the suspension of the election have led to other countries including the UK, China, Canada and Australia to upgrade their travel advisories to the luxury tourism destination, while port workers, customs officials, air traffic controllers and ground handling staff have staged strikes.

Senior officers of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) last week sent a “letter of concern” to Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam, “over the Supreme Court’s order to delay elections, the failure of state institutions, and the possible politicisation of the military, and asking that unconstitutional orders not be issued,” according to one signatory.

The letter prompted a rapid reshuffling of the organisation, dismissals, suspensions, resignations, warnings to media and amendments to its regulations to to impose punishments on officers found guilty of inciting ‘upheaval and chaos’.

Former Brigadier General Ibrahim Didi, Male’ Area Commander at the time of the controversial 7 February 2012 transfer of power, meanwhile wrote a letter urging officers to “not give the opportunity to anyone who plans to rule this country by taking the laws to their own hands and override the constitution and undermine the constitutional framework of this country.”

“After November 11, 2013, regardless of who gives the orders and regardless of the situation, I sincerely urge the military to not let anyone take over the country in contrast with the provisions in the constitution, as this would have dire consequences,” he wrote.


14 thoughts on ““Potential for trouble”: UN Security Council briefed on Maldives”

  1. Maldives has a legislative due process to deal with issues.

    This so called 'potential' for trouble is more of a wish by some parties in the Maldives, who wants an Indian takeover - money obviously talks.

    And who is riding the UN paper tiger to make headlines?

    Its not hard to guess for a country like the Maldives which has only few diplomats who are well connected and some 'strange coincidence' all of them belonging to a same party.

  2. The external forces are the United States, backing the 5%, Dr. Waheed.

    India, backing 45%, President Nasheed.

    China backing less than 0.01% (armed forces), Baghee Nazim, loyal to Mr. Gayoom.

    The only missing external force here is Russia.

  3. @ internal

    Only one Indian giant company GMR is not India.
    Are you saying that India is jockeying for power with the USA? When did GMR become a wold super power?

    You must be smoking something.

  4. India is not GMR - please do not insult India for the sake of one company.

  5. GMR is backing 200%, President Nasheed

    India supports 100 Maldivain, regardless of parties.

    Other than that, no one is supporting anyone else.

  6. We need some strong power to involve in this case & save us from slavery. We don't have enough strength to fight against the national security of Maldives. If this is prolonging the situation can become worse & possible to begin a civil war. There could be burning of our assets like tourist resorts & this will strongly effect our economy. This will lead us to starving. Help help help.

  7. """ In the Maldives too, we quickly found that changing the Constitution, or having a multi-party election, did not instill democratic values within our society,” Dr Shakeela told the UN. """

    D'OH! Did Homer Simpson write that speech?

  8. During recent courtesy call by the US Ambassador on President Waheed, US Ambassador clearly stated that "THE UNITED STATES WILL ACCEPT ANY RULING FROM THE HIGHEST COURT" about the ongoing alleged vote rigging case in supreme court!

    Bottom line is if US accepts the decision made by the Supreme Court.. the EU, Commonwealth, Canada, Australia, India and UN will follow as well.

    Robert Blake knows very well about this MDP.

  9. Ann, we dont care what you whiteskins think. We want freedom from the Statesmen.

    Stand in our way, and you will suffer like Hiroshima and Nagasaki did in 1945.

  10. There is no way democratic values being instilled with a Military or a Dictator ruling the nation!

    And there is no way Justice can be achieved with an alleged porn star on the bench of the Supreme Court!

    It is surprising that the USA is said to be agreeing to any ruling that the current Supreme Court of Maldives (whose bench consist of corrupt judges with an emphasis to an alleged porn star sitting on that bench) would deliver over the matter of the presidential elections matter in question!

  11. Dr. Mariyam Shakeela in her teens was believed to be possessed by a Jinnie. I hope it's not recurring ... As a teen she lived in Ma.Bourganvilla. Perhaps Ibra can vouch for this.

  12. When the US are seriously interested in ruling a country by proxy the first thing they do is buy off the local military. Egypt and Pakistan are examples. I believe we are fantasizing about US foreign policy vis a vis the Maldives.

  13. We Don't need any speech! Maldivians want to get rid off dictator ship.We lost our freedoms & democracy.Pls take an Action before its too late.


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