Joint Statement on Maldives by the Commonwealth Secretary-General and the Chair of Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group

27 September 2013

Meeting in New York today, Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) Ministers considered the situation in Maldives, where the second round of the presidential election would have been due to take place on 28 September 2013.

Ministers noted the conclusions of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the 7 September Presidential Election: in particular the Group's comments that "this was a credible electoral process and met the standards for democratic elections to which Maldives has committed itself."

Ministers further noted that national and other international observers had concluded that the 7 September election was competently administered, and that the Maldivian people had been free to express their will through the ballot.

In this context, CMAG Ministers expressed concern at developments since the declaration of results of the first round poll, with one unsuccessful party having filed a case with the Supreme Court to annul the first round of the election because of alleged electoral fraud, and the Supreme Court subsequently issuing an injunction to delay the second round of the election until a court ruling is delivered in that case.

Ministers recalled their past statements on Maldives concerning the importance of holding of a credible and inclusive presidential election. Noting that, under the Constitution of Maldives, a new President is required to be sworn in by 11 November 2013, CMAG Ministers urged all those concerned to ensure that the second round of the election is held at the earliest possible date so that this constitutional requirement is met.

CMAG Ministers welcomed the continued presence of Commonwealth Observers in Maldives, led by Dr Lawrence Gonzi, and looked forward to the continued close engagement of the Commonwealth Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Sir Donald McKinnon.