UK MPs highlight “deteriorating situation” in the Maldives

An early day motion has been tabled in the UK Parliament calling upon the House of Commons to support the UN secretary general’s call for a “credible and peaceful second round of voting” in the Maldives.

The motion, sponsored by MP Grahame Morris, also called upon members of the House of Commons to declare that it “condemns those who are seeking to prevent President Mohamed Nasheed from participating in any future elections in the Maldives; further condemns the perpetrators of the arson attack that destroyed the opposition-supporting Raaje TV station in Male’; and demands that the authorities take all necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Attempts to disqualify Nasheed’s candidacy – reportedly now backed by the religious Adhaalath Party – have already been criticised by incumbent President Dr Mohamed Waheed.

Rarely debated on the floor of the house, early day motions are used as a way to publicise topics of interest to certain MPs, with fellow members invited to add their name to the motion.

Robert Buckland MP this week also asked the leader of the house if time could be made available in the commons’ schedule for discussion of the current political crisis in the Maldives.

“May we find time for an urgent debate on the deteriorating situation in the Maldives, where the first round of a presidential election has been annulled and it is feared the authorities are trying to obstruct the return to power of President Nasheed, who was ousted in a coup last year and who clearly won an election that was described by international observers as free and fair?”

Leader of the House Andrew Lansley assured Buckland that he would request the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to brief the house on the current situation during the next oral question session, if not earlier – the next FCO question time is scheduled for October 29.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the first round of voting earlier this week, UK Foreign Minister William Hague called upon the government of the Maldives to respect the democratic process, and to create conditions for a free and fair poll.

“It is imperative that there are no further delays and the elections be free, fair and inclusive, and that international observers are invited,” said Hague.

The United Kingdom remains one of the Maldives tourism industry’s biggest markets, although recent arrival figures show negative growth of a fall of  -6.4%  in UK arrivals this year when compared with 2012.

The FCO updated its travel advisory for the Maldives after growing unrest following the delaying of polls.

The guidance urged visitors to keep away from demonstrations: “There is no indication at present that any political unrest will affect tourist resorts or airports, but if you have any concerns you should check with your hotel or tour operator,” the statement read.

Voting for the rescheduled first round will begin at 7:30am on Saturday, October 19 and polls will be closed at 4:00pm, the Elections Commission announced at a press conference last night.


13 thoughts on “UK MPs highlight “deteriorating situation” in the Maldives”

  1. The world is watching us our tourism industry will be killed if they screw up the election again.

  2. We are about to become the next Egypt and Fiji if the supreme court and corrupt parties fix the election.

  3. The World is bigger then the U.K. The highest number of visitors is from China, but they don't mention anything about the situation, because they don't care.
    Anyhow, we will screw up, as always

  4. Some people think creating chaos will keep them in power and allow them to enjoy absolute richness and luxury.
    They must think twice because the country is already suffering due to skewed income distribution and any damage to the tourism industry will only accentuate the pain of the common people who are fighting hard to enjoy equal rights.

  5. Point number (16) of the Supreme Court ruling is the most illuminating one which I shall re-quote:

    (16) As the aforementioned expert report revealed that a high number of foreigners who should not have had access to the Elections Commission server and database had regular access to it, the Elections Commission’s server and full IT system should be reformed and improved in accordance with the professional opinion of the National Centre for Information Technology and other relevant state institutions to assure confidence [in the server and IT system].

    What does this mean:

    (1) Note the "expert report". This refers to the secret police "intelligence" report.

    (2) Now, this opens up a back door access into EC databases via NCIT! This point alone is an illegal ruling compromising the integrity of the EC IT systems.

    (3) The referral to "other relevant state institutions" is even more interesting. This is blanket order to allow any and all "state institution" from having a hand in the EC IT systems. The aforementioned police "intelligence" is what the Court has in mind, most certainly. Now we don't need to be rocket scientists to work out what all this means.

    (4) Yes, in conclusion, the EC database and IT systems will be compromised if this is all followed. PPM and JP have always wanted access to those and the Court has given them that! Nice work.

  6. Perhaps those inciting violence would think twice about continuing similar activities. The tourism industry is controlled by a few Gayyoom ( the plastic faced moron ) cronies and it is those with money who are paying young kids to carry out criminal activities against those opposing the people in power. PPM n JP are dead sure they cannot win the election so they are prepared to go to any lengths to ensure they sideline the people's candidate. BMW seems to be the only one who has regained some sanity.

  7. I scratch my head sometimes at the logic of the PPM. Many commentators here seem to imply that members of the PPM and their allies have huge connections to or own the resorts. Yet their actions will undermine their very investments and income.

    The fact that there is a 6% decrease in visitors over the last year (which in itself is a lot)is because there is very little publicity worldwide. But now the UN is getting involved and UK parliament is going to debate it suggests the reduction in visitors could rapidly increase to about 25-40% It costs a lot of money to get to the Maldives and people will not risk it. Once a holiday destination goes 'off the boil' it tends to stay that way. Even the Chinese will go somewhere else.

    If the PPM manage to exclude Nasheed or refuse his victory then you can guarantee there will be big trouble and 'Do Not Travel' warnings will be given. All current holidays will be cancelled and refunded or replacement holidays given elsewhere. Every country will follow suit.

    If the Maldives doesn't get the tourist income, it may default on a lot of its loans. There will be rationed or no oil/gas for the power stations. No electricity, tv or signals for Mobile phones or Internet. Food and water could be scarce.

    Its a stark choice for the people of the Maldives. The PPM and SC are betting there will be just a short period of rioting/disorder then it will be business as usual, as people's income and food in their stomachs may be more important to them than who is president.

    I still think if it goes wrong, the Military may take over. As I said before, that could be a mixed blessing.

  8. The world is watching, ha, most people I know never heard of the Maldives let alone know about the corrupt politics.

  9. There's a saying often wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results."

    Rewriting it for Gayoom: "Delusion is repeating the same actions and expecting the same results even though the world has changed."


  10. I have said many times that Gayoom and friends have run the Maldives as a private business,,for many many years..As such,and with the vast amount of private wealth,that those people have accumulated,,you can all see why they don't want to lose control.If the election is held correctly,I think Nasheed will win by a distance,,BUT,,I can see trouble coming..

  11. The best way to get peace in Maldives is to close the tourist resorts. Make fish farms there, and cooperate with Lakshdweep Islands (Indian) north of Maldives to do fishing in the area; they can then all live in piece as Sunny Muslim fishermen.( then have a fair election ) It’s more than sufficient with other tourist destinations in the world and it’s obvious the money from tourism have brought the worst of greed and corruption in an elite group of the population (even got the court and judges eating from their hands, hiding behind some religious right) The profit from the tourism is mainly for this elite group where some bread crumbs end up to the people for keeping them quite. That’s way at the moment it’s not the right time for fair election.

  12. All Maldivians who were ranting and raving about Professional Expats...This is a lesson for you...You people cannot hold a Simple Election with a Population of 300K people...and 33 Burglaries in 48 Hours in such a small place as Male'. You must hang your head in shame for hurting all those expats who gave their heart and soul for your country.


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