US slams “extra-legal” attempts to derail democratic process

“Political differences are not unique to Maldives, and they should not be allowed to derail the process,” United States Embassy in Colombo has said.

Expressing concern over the delay of elections and reports of intimidation of MPs, the statement warns that, “Extra-legal maneuvering and calls for military intervention are neither appropriate, nor acceptable under international law.”

“Such issues could result in damage to Maldives’ international reputation and impact negatively upon the Maldivian economy,” the statement continued.

The third attempt to complete the presidential election has been scheduled for Saturday (November 9), with the date for a potential second round on the 16th.

Following the initial poll on September 7 – which appeared to have set up a run-off between Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Mohamed Nasheed and Progressive Party of Maldives candidate Abdulla Yameen – the US urged all sides to accept the results, calling the much-praised poll a “victory for democracy”.

Prior to the re-scheduled October 19 poll, the US had expressed concerns – later realised –  at the potential for continued legal actions to cause further delays.

“Since the September 7 first round of elections were annulled via questionable tactics,  we have been actively engaging with all political parties and independent institutions to encourage a way forward that is in line with Maldives’ constitution,” continued yesterday’s statement.

“As the current government’s mandate expires on November 11, time is of the essence.”

A motion was passed last week detailing transitional arrangements for the Majlis speaker to take the interim presidency, prompting  the Jumhooree Party candidate – and filer of the complaints which led to the annulment of the original poll – Gasim Ibrahim to suggest that handing power over to the military would be preferable.

“Isn’t it better that our military takes over the country to save the country and maintain peace?” local media quoted the businessman and MP as saying.

Repeated delays of the presidential elections have evoked concern from across the globe, with the UK government also expressing its concern that the Maldives’ reputation would suffer should the current political crisis not be resolved with free and fair elections.

Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire told the UK’s House of Commons last week that he feared for the economic future of the country.

MDP candidate and former President Nasheed has also suggested that foreign actors were preparing for economic sanctions should no president-elect be confirmed by November 11.

“Ambassadors of foreign nations that I meet are now saying very openly that if there is no president-elect by November 11 they would have to take action under their normal rules or procedures,” Nasheed has reported.

A recent spate of legal actions against opposition MPs has also caused international concern, with the Inter-Parliamentary Union last week arranging an urgent visit to the Maldives in an attempt to build trust between feuding state institutions.


12 thoughts on “US slams “extra-legal” attempts to derail democratic process”

  1. The people who are determined to stop us voting is not worried about our international reputation. They are not smart enough to realise the concept of the global village and whether we like it or not, that our futures are linked together.

    However, they do want money; maybe they do not care about the econonomy as it impacts on all citizens, but they certainly care about how it impacts on them.

    I just wonder if statements from well meaning foreign ambassadors help improve the situation and get us closer to an election. Surely more than words are needed. Like in parenting, these spoilt products of the regime need to see that there are consequences for behaving badly.

  2. Yes Ben, I think everyone is more or less ready now to do that. had enough of tyrants. We are ready, including myself to go to Dhoonidhoo with Raees Nasheed

  3. Yes Ben Yes Ben, I think everyone is more or less ready now to do that. had enough of tyrants. We are ready, including myself to go to Dhoonidhoo with Raees Nasheed and Ben Plewright? Would you be happier without his wife andtwo children Would you happier in jail just the men and you

  4. Shafeea when is Ben coming to Dhoonidhoo with you? I think he needs to get treated for his mental illness first or it would be really bad for you and other inmates too. Ben's wife and two children would know better

  5. Calm down, fellows; let's work for the best. Tyrants always fail, though not without doing much damage. The will of peace-loving, responsible people, however, will never be denied.

  6. I think there will be no peace.
    The police have already spent even more of the dwindling Maldivian financial resources on tear gas and now plastic bullets.

    Its obvious there will be no election and they are just getting prepared.

    I think mass withdrawal of labour is the only viable method of protest. They cannot gas you or shoot you for not turning up for work. This will take careful synchronisation.

    Expect Unions to be outlawed very shortly.

  7. We are now at a stage where mere words are not enough! We need an elected Government, urgently!

  8. @Ben Plewright on Tue, 5th Nov 2013 4:58 PM

    PLEASE do not comment under my name, please.


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