ACHR deplores Maldives' re-election as UNHRC member

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 12, 2013 16:50 hrs

The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) on Tuesday voiced its disappointment over the re-election of Maldives as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the UN General Assembly despite having no legitimate government at present.

ACHR in its report, ´Judicial Coup d´e'tat in Maldives´ stated that Maldives which does not have a legitimate government at present is being reelected unopposed as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council in the vote being held at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

Four Asian countries, i.e., China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Maldives are the only four candidates left for the four open seats of the Asian region following withdrawal of its candidature by Jordan, ACHR noted.

Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR said, "The re-election of Maldives as a member of the UN Human Rights Council at the UN General Assembly today despite having no legitimate government in Male is a mockery and sends an absolutely wrong message about the UN Human Rights Council."

"The credibility of the United Nations can only be restored through the suspension of the membership of Maldives from the UN Human Rights Council like Libya in 2011," Chakma added.

ACHR alleged that the term of Maldives President Waheed expired on Monday (Nov 11, 2013) though he is clinging on to power through a judicial coup d´e'tat.

Following the elections on Nov 9, 2013, the Maldives Supreme Court postponed the run-off elections on Nov 10 to Nov 16, 2013 as part of the conspiracy to prevent Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party from becoming the President through free and fair elections, ACHR said.

ACHR in its report stated that Nasheed had won 46.93 percent (96,747 votes) followed by Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom of Progressive Party of Maldives and brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom with 29.73 percent (61,295 votes) and Qasim Ibrahim of Jumhooree Party and a former Finance Minister under dictator Gayoom with 23.34 percent (48,131 votes) in the election held on Nov 9, 2013.

The Supreme Court suspended the run-off elections on a petition filed by defeated candidate Qasim Ibrahim seeking time to campaign to tell voters as to which of the other two candidates his party supports, the report said.

"Qasim Ibrahim does not even have locus standi as he is no longer eligible to contest the run-off election. This implies that the Supreme Court is ready to entertain petition from an individual to delay the Presidential election of the nation and prolong the illegal rule of President Waheed. This is nothing short of a judicial coup d´e'tat," Chakma said.

ACHR said that in a bizarre judgement on Oct 7, 2013, four judges of the Supreme Court of Maldives namely Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Ali Hameed Mohamed annulled the Sept 7 election on alleged irregularities despite 2,328 observers and 1,660 monitors including 102 foreign observers and 25 monitors certifying the elections to have been free and fair.

Further, the Maldives Police headed by Commissioner Abdullah Riyaz blocked holding of elections on Oct 19, 2013 in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court, ACHR alleged.

The ACHR further called on the international community to establish accountability of those individuals who have been subverting democracy in Maldives by not recognising Mohammed Waheed as President of Maldives and downgrading engagements with all the diplomatic missions of Maldives until a legitimate and democratically elected President takes over in Male through the run- off election slated for Nov 16, 2013.

ACHR also urged the international community not to sign any new agreement including for bilateral and/or multilateral aid with Waheed's regime and further imposing a travel ban and boycott of Mohammed Waheed and four judges of the Supreme Court, namely, Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Abdulla Saeed, Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Ali Hameed Mohamed and Police Commissioner Abdullah Riyaz through denial of employment, invitation or any other association or engagement.

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