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Commonwealth Observer Group issues final report on 2013 election in Maldives

23 January 2014

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today released the Final Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2013 Maldives Presidential Elections.

One of the Observer Group’s findings was that despite repeated delays and uncertainty around the process, Maldivian voters remained engaged and repeatedly turned out in large numbers to cast their ballot and express their will.

Mr Sharma commended the Elections Commission of Maldives for its professionalism and consistency in delivering well-managed and credible elections, despite challenging circumstances.

The report offers various recommendations to help improve aspects of the electoral process. These include:

  • no significant changes should be made to the electoral framework in the six months prior to an election;  
  • there should be better recognition of the mandate and statutory and constitutional independence of the Elections Commission;
  • consideration should be given to strengthening the legislation on campaign finance and expenditure; and
  • there should be better co-ordination and co-operation between the various national stakeholders and institutions.

Mr Sharma stressed that the Commonwealth remained ready to work in partnership with Maldives to further strengthen its democracy.

“The Commonwealth Charter underlines that it is the responsibility of governments, political parties and civil society to uphold and protect democratic culture and practices, and to be accountable to the public in this regard. The Commonwealth stands ready to assist all concerned in giving expression to this Commonwealth commitment," Mr Sharma concluded.