“A strong and united opposition is important, but this alone will not resolve the problem of elections in the Maldives. The Elections Commission – which is supposed to be a fair and neutral umpire – is hopelessly politicised; and there are no fair, predefined rules that dictate how the election will be held. Instead, the Elections Commission and other institutions make up the rules as they go — such as trying to ban the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) primary contest — to favour President Yameen.
President Yameen continues to flagrantly defy the Constitution (arbitrarily disqualifying MPs and refusing to hold by-elections within two months is one indisputable case in point). President Yameen has neutered the Supreme Court by kidnapping the Chief Justice and Justice Hameed. The remaining three justices give President Yameen a legal carte blache to do as he pleases, in the form of a whimsical interpretation of the doctrine of necessity.
So there is no rule of law, nor a clear framework for a free and fair election. A huge amount of concerted pressure will be required to create a level playing field and improve trust in the electoral process. This needs to happen before we enter an election that, under current circumstances, will only end in farce.”
President Mohamed Nasheed
8 June 2018