Charles Tannock, Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has told a plenary session of the EU parliament in Strasbourg that organisation should apply “maximum pressure” to reverse what he described as a “judicial coup” in the Maldives.
“The people of the Maldives deserve better than this: they must have their voices heard, and their decisions respected. The constitutional crisis in Male which looms if a new President is not elected before the current President’s mandate expires could spell disaster for this small but dignified nation,” Tannock told the 766 member legislature.
The MEP went on to call for politicians to put the interests of their country ahead of their own careers and “a small band of disfavoured elites allied to ex-President Gayoom and Islamist parties, who determine the country’s future.”
“I believe the Maldives could face a very strong and unwelcome response from the international community if these failings are not mended, he told journalists following the session.
“I am sure that no regime there would find it comfortable if governments began advising their citizens not to visit as tourists because of the dire state of human rights including particularly women’s rights and the lack of basic democratic freedoms.”
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said she was “deeply concerned” following the most recent delay in the Maldives presidential elections.
“The EU reiterates its confidence in the impartiality and efficiency of the Maldivian Election Commission. It recalls that elections cannot successfully be held if the process can be repeatedly brought to a halt through legal injunctions,” she said in a statement.