Government calls for ‘balanced’ statements from international partners

April 11 14:02 2017

The government has urged international partners to ensure that statements issued about the Maldives are “balanced and reflect the actual situation prevailing in the country”.

Following the arrest of Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim on bribery charges, the EU and the embassies of Canada, Norway, Switzerland and the US had called on the government to respect fundamental freedoms and to allow opposition politicians “to conduct their activities without fear of intimidation or incarceration.”

Taking note of the joint statement, the government said it “fully concurs that legitimate, organised, and most importantly, a credible opposition is a vital part of any healthy democracy to thrive”.

However, the opposition should act in accordance with Maldivian laws and regulations, it added.

“Finding amicable solutions to the issues facing the country today should not be a responsibility that falls exclusively on the government. All political actors, including the political parties, have an equally important role to play in this regard,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The statement stressed that the government has renewed invitations for all-party talks.

“After nearly a decade of stagnation due to political disagreements, today, the people of the Maldives are finally starting to experience and enjoy the true potential of the unprecedented economic transformation taking place in the country,” the statement contended.

“Attempts to disrupt this process, either directly or indirectly, especially for the purpose of achieving political ends, would be detrimental to the people of the Maldives.”

A newly formed opposition coalition, comprised of Gasim’s JP, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives, and former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party, sought unsuccessfully to impeach Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed in late March.

But opposition MPs have since vowed to resubmit a no-confidence motion with the signatures of 42 MPs, a simple majority of the 85-member house.

The opposition alliance is seeking to challenge President Abdulla Yameen’s previously secure parliamentary majority and hoping for defections to former President Gayoom’s faction of the divided ruling party.

The government’s call for re-engagement in dialogue came amidst an intensifying crackdown the aftermath of the no-confidence vote.

On Friday, the United Nations reiterated the need for inclusive dialogue to resolve the Maldives’ protracted crisis. But the opposition has questioned the government’s sincerity and suggested that the all-party talks are a diversionary tactic.

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Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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