Maldivian Democracy on the Brink: US ambassador

“Maldives now finds itself at a crucial crossroads.  Through weeks of political bickering and questionable delaying tactics, Maldives democracy is now in peril,” writes US Ambassador to the Maldives Michelle J. Sison for local newspaper Haveeru.

“Further delays in Maldivian Presidential elections and continued misuse of institutions have already led many in the international community to question the legitimacy of both the process, as well as the outcome of those elections.

As in any country after a hard-fought political campaign, people will still disagree.  Truly great leaders put aside those differences in the aftermath of an election and work together in the national interest and for the greater good.

Ultimately, the power of any government rests in the consent of its people.  If citizens are not allowed to freely express their desires, then those that pretend to govern cannot be perceived as having legitimacy to govern.

To ensure successful elections and protect its democratic traditions Maldives needs to allow balloting that is free, fair, and inclusive, and the results must be respected by all parties, without retribution.

We saw the first part of that formula on September 7, and now we must see both on November 9 for there to be legitimacy and true democracy.

As Maldives stands at the brink, now is the time for all Maldivians to unite to salvage their democratic future.”

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President Waheed meets US ambassador and British high commissioner in Male’

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan yesterday held separate meetings with both the Ambassador of the United States accredited to the Maldives Michelle J Sison and the British High Commissioner to the Republic of Maldives John Rankin in Male’.

According to the Presidents’ Office, Dr Waheed spoke to both diplomats about the current progress towards scheduling presidential elections for next year. The US was also thanked for the assistance it provided in investigating the murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Rankin used his meeting to stress that the UK would continue to support political stability in the Maldives, while reiterating hopes that elections in 2013 were carried out “smoothly and independently”.