12 March 2014, Male'; The Government of Maldives welcomes the decision by the Peoples Majlis today to approve a new member to the Elections Commission (EC). The decision enables the EC to function with the legally required quorum and hold the general elections scheduled for 22 March 2014, consistent with the Supreme Courtâ€™s verdict of 9 March. In compliance with the verdict, the Government proposed to the Majlis for consideration and to vote on the names of candidates to fill the remaining two vacant positions at the Elections Commission. The Governmentâ€™s unshakable commitment to the independence of the EC, and in particular, in holding the elections on schedule, is demonstrated by the fact that the names of the candidates were screened and proposed to the Majlis in accordance with the Supreme Court's verdict.
The Government of Maldives is fully committed to ensuring the constitutionally guaranteed independence, professionalism, and integrity of the Elections Commission. The Government is proud of the vibrancy of the democratic process of the country and calls on all to respect the Constitution and the stipulations therein to continue a healthy democratic environment in the Maldives.
In 2008, the new Constitution of Maldives was heralded by the international community as a modern Constitution that sets up a Presidential system of governance in the Maldives with clear separation of powers between the three branches of the State. Since then, the Maldives has experienced a vibrant democratic process that has enabled the nascent system to flourish. The Maldivesâ€™ experience is similar to, and reminiscent of, any country undergoing democracy consolidation.
The Government will always protect and uphold the Constitution of Maldives. Negative external reaction to judicial decisions of the Maldives challenges the domestic institutions and national processes thereby undermining the Constitution of the Maldives and hindering the ongoing process of democracy consolidation. Further strengthening of institutions of the State, including the legislature and the judiciary, would always be an on-going process. It is worth recalling that important cases, including those of a high-profile nature, still remain pending in the courts. Justice need to be served speedily.
The Government is always ready to work with interested external actors through a process of dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect in working towards consolidating democracy in the Maldives. The Government of Maldives also calls on its international partners to respect the Constitution and laws of the Maldives and the national democratic processes.