After Maldives high court removes election officials, Ban urges respect for rule of law

Aerial view of Malé, the capital of the Maldives. Photo: Nattu

10 March 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General today expressed concern about the situation in the Maldives following the decision of the Supreme Court to remove the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Elections Commission and to sentence the Chair for contempt of court.

“The Secretary-General underlines the importance of respect for the principle of separation of powers, the rule of law, and the independence of constitutionally established bodies,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.

“He commends the Elections Commission for its professionalism and tireless efforts to ensure credible and transparent elections,” the statement said.

Further, the UN chief urged all political leaders to respect the democratic process and allow for a peaceful, inclusive and credible Parliamentary vote to take place in accordance with the Constitution. “It is of the utmost importance that of the will of the Maldivian people be respected throughout the process,” he said.

In mid-November, the Secretary-General welcomed the conclusion of the run-off of the presidential election in the Maldives, and urged everyone in the country to work together to advance the democratic process.

That poll, which reportedly led to the election of Yaamin Abdul Gayoom, brought to a close a process that began with the first vote on 7 September, which was later annulled by the Supreme Court amid allegations of electoral fraud. A re-run planned for 19 October was further delayed, before finally being held on 9 November.


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