AP/PR/2016/22
PRESS RELEASE

Condemning The Unilateral Decision of the Maldives Government to Leave Commonwealth

Male’, Maldives – 14th October 2016. – Adhaalath Party strictly condemns the unilateral decision of the Maldives incumbent government to exit the country from Commonwealth.
Ever since its accession to the organisation 34 years ago, the Maldives have been benefiting from Commonwealth in diverse range of socioeconomic sectors. Concurrently, the organisation also puts the Maldives in a family of a third of world population along with a quarter of world states, while serving its members with an exemplary platform to promote peace and prosperity across world continents. Furthermore, the Maldives along with other member states have also been enjoying myriads of resources within this one and only intergovernmental organisation of its kind while benefiting from its active network of over 80 multinational organisations.
As a recent engagement, Commonwealth has been working with all stakeholders to alleviate the deteriorating democracy in the Maldives, while trying to bring in the direly needed political reforms and stability so that the country be governed as per its constitution. However, to the dismay of all stakeholders, the government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom aggravated in all priority areas that required immediate and unconditional reforms. Moreover, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom continued oppressing dissents, along with repressing and suppressing any sociopolitical engagement that is deemed to be challenging even in minuscule towards his despotism. This aggravation was addressed in the 49th meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held on 23rd September 2016, by allowing the government a further six months to make progress in the priority areas while calling upon all political parties to engage in the political dialogue facilitated by the United Nations in order to strengthen democratic institutions to the larger interests of the nation. Concurrently, Commonwealth also initiated its technical assistance to strengthen judicial independence and separation of state powers while cautioning the government that failure to make a substantial progress in priority areas may lead the Maldives to be suspended from the councils of Commonwealth.
After CMAG’s renewed calls for reforms, on 13th October 2016, the highly unpopular President, Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom has arrogantly retaliated with this unilateral decision of leaving Commonwealth councils. Added to the disgust was the government’s false pretext that were cited as reasons for this decision while Commonwealth has only been propounding for the Maldives to find its own solution in areas of national development and democratic strengthening. Equally repugnant is the attempt of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom to masquerade that decision as a sequel to a commotion in his unelected 17-member cabinet, while the whole country is well aware of his dominance over state affairs, and that he has craftily formed his cabinet with most of the members being novices who lacks the experience of heading even a simple public office, so that he be unrivalled in his reign.
Adhaalath Party believes that the decision of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom to leave Commonwealth is solely for the purpose of evading the organisation’s call for institutional reforms and democratic governance, while eluding its demand for establishing a conducive environment for credible and inclusive presidential election in 2018.
For the aforementioned reasons, Adhaalath Party is extremely concerned with the government’s unilateral decision to leave Commonwealth and calls upon the international community to keep the Maldives under scrutiny and assist its people to establish democracy as per the constitution before the incumbent government plunges the country deeper into isolationism.
Adhaalath Party also denounces the government’s unilateral decision to leave Commonwealth since the engagement with the organisation is so much intertwined with the ordinary people and therefore requests President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom to recall that decision or else to go for a public referendum before making the decision into effect.
Adhaalath Party is extremely grateful for the role Commonwealth has played in alleviating the socioeconomic and political situation in the Maldives and impacting the lives of its people positively over the span of the past 34 years.

END


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