President Mohamed Nasheed and senior officials of the Maldivian Democratic Party met with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt and Deputy High Commissioner Robbie Bulloch in Male’ yesterday.
Of the issues discussed with Foreign Office Minister Burt, the need for the upcoming Presidential elections to include candidates of all Political Parties was stressed. It was reiterated that the credibility of the elections would be reliant on whether all Political Parties were allowed to field a candidate of their choice in a free and fair election. President Nasheed spoke of the need to establish a transitional arrangement with international observers prior to the elections.
President Nasheed raised his concerns regarding the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI)’s report, stating that much of the report had been contradicted by recent work carried out by the Majlis oversight committee responsible for overlooking Government accountability. He highlighted, with disappointment, the Waheed administration’s subsequent inaction with regards to CoNI’s concluding recommendations over institutional reform, and the resulting culture of impunity that has been established within institutions such as the Police service. This had led to politically motivated detentions of a large number of activists, contravening their constitutional right to assembly. The stalled investigation of the gruesome murder of MP Afraashim Ali was also noted as a serious concern.
President Nasheed expressed his appreciation to Foreign Minister Burt and stated that he looked forward to the United Kingdom’s continued support for democratic consolidation in the Maldives.