Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon has described the Progressive Coalition’s victory in the Majlis elections as vote of confidence in President Abdulla Yameen as well as a signal to foreign powers to stay out of the country’s affairs.
“Maldivians have said yes to President Yameen’s strong leadership,” said Dunya.
She also interpreted the coalition victory as a sign of voters’ faith in the leadership of her father, former President and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – President Yameen’s half-brother.
Fellow cabinet member, Tourism Minsiter Ahmed Adeeb, reiterated Dunya’s comments during a press conference held today, adding that opposition MPs would now be unable to further “obstruct” the government’s efforts.
“This shows that the ideology of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the policies of President Abdulla Yameen has the full support of the people as well as the extent of support for [Progressive Coalition partners] Honourable Gasim Ibrahim and Honourable Ahmed Siyam Mohamed,” said Adeeb.
Dunya’s press statement came as the results of the elections to the 18th People’s Majlis are being finalised. Preliminary reports suggest a clear victory for the PPM and its allies – the Elections Commission is expected to announce the preliminary results in the coming hours.
“I wish to congratulate the people of Maldives for their belief in the value of democracy. The world should not underestimate the perseverance of Maldivians. I also wish to congratulate the Elections Commission for holding the elections in an efficient, free, fair, and transparent manner,” she stated.
Dunya served as the State Minister for Foreign Affairs under former President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, and was a key figure in defending the legitimacy of Dr Waheed’s cabinet in the international community following former President Nasheed’s allegations of coup d’état following his February 2012 exit from power.
Dunya further said “yes to the Government’s foreign policy that is aimed at building national resilience of the Maldives; and yes to the Government’s firm stand of helping Maldivians to shape their own destiny.”
“The Elections also shows that Maldivians have said a resounding ‘NO’ to the efforts of some to invite foreign interference in domestic politics through a number of statements issued telling Maldivians how to organise our own affairs”.
“I wish to congratulate the people of Maldives for their belief in the value of democracy. The world should not underestimate the perseverance of Maldivians. I also wish to congratulate the Elections Commission for holding the elections in an efficient, free, fair, and transparent manner”.
The foreign minister’s praise of the Maldivian people – whom she stated have shown “tremendous determination” to resist attempts to cause “internal disharmony by inviting international pressure” – echoed statements issued earlier this month.
On March 3 – after the European Union and civil society groups had voiced concern over the actions of the Supreme Court – Dunya requested that international communities refrain from comment which “undermine” the Maldivian judicial system.
International concern at that time had come in response to court’s pursuit of contempt of court charges against the Elections Commission (EC) over comments made in a privileged parliamentary committee regarding the annulment of last year’s presidential election first round.
The Supreme Court accused the EC of contempt, claiming it had criticised the verdict which had annulled the first round of presidential elections held in September 2013, as well as disobeying a Supreme Court order by dissolving eight political parties last month.
“We request our international partners to support us. We request you to contribute constructively in overcoming our challenges. We urge you not to undermine our judicial system,” said Dunya during the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
“We call on all to respect our institutions, young though they may be. And we urge you to base your partnership with us on dialogue and cooperation, not on judgment and retribution,” she added.