April 19, 2018

The Government, however, sadly notes that while the Government had presented the progress of the implementation process since 2014this was largely disregarded in the report.

As conveyed to the EFM team in January, the Government is working with the relevant stakeholders, to incorporate the recommendations made by the European Union Elections Observation Mission of 2014. As such, a Draft Bill consisting of the changes being brought to the electoral framework has been formulated, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.

This Draft Bill will aim to establish clear demarcations of functions between the Elections Commission, Anti-corruption Commission, Prosecutor General’s Office and the Maldives Police Service, as well as incorporate the 16-pointer guideline issued by the Supreme Court of Maldives in 2013, pertaining to voter registration. The Draft Bill also addresses election offences and proposes to penalize additional offences related to elections. Additionally, the Bill sets forth specific timelines for registration and re-registration of voters, and for the Elections Commission to publicize the voters list. It will further propose guidelines to ensure that the campaign finances are accounted for and are in the interest of allowing a fair campaign ground for all candidates and establish guidelines to be followed by media in allocating campaign time slots.

The religion of the State of the Maldives is Islam and Islam shall be the basis of all the laws of the Maldives. Therefore, as reiterated on a number of occasions, the Government of Maldives will not entertain any recommendation calling for the review or the revision of Article 9 and Article 73 of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.

Furthermore, the Government notes with concern that the report contains misconstrued facts with regard to the 1st February Order of the Supreme Court and that the report has failed to take into consideration the events that followed.

The Elections Commission, on 22nd February 2018, has begun the preparations for the Presidential Elections to be held this year. The Government encourages all relevant stakeholders to offer the Elections Commission their full, unreserved support for the conduct of their work. The Government would also like to reiterate its call of 22nd February 2018, publicly inviting all international stakeholders to observe the electoral process.