Opposition pushing for caretaker govt. in Maldives - Naseem
by Harischandra Gunaratna

Ahmed Naseem, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) overseas representative said in Colombo last week that an alliance of opposition parties and several NGO's in the Maldives are rolling out an archipelago - wide campaign to promote a caretaker government to oversee elections under a new Constitution in 2008.

"There would be no possibility to hold free and fair elections if the government continued to be headed by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and in the absence of a transitional or caretaker government," he noted.

He said the Alliance of opposition parties was launched after President Gayoom suspended the Special Majlis (Constitutional Assembley) for one month on December 10 this year, which had been drafting a new constitution during the last three years. "There were only three chapters to be completed".

Asked about fears that Gayoom, the longest ruler in Asia for 29 years, will obstruct the peaceful transition of power, Naseem replied; "The biggest obstacle we face is that Gayoom adamant that he contests while remaining in power. He doesn't want a caretaker government to oversee the elections."

A visiting delegation of European Parliamentarians last week reiterated its call for free and fair elections in the Maldives at a meeting organised by the Open Society in Male.

Robert Evans, MP heading a five-member delegation had said the EU will urge President Gayoom to keep his promise and hold free and fair multyparty elections in 2008.

Naseem noted that Evans has stressed the importance of making the Elections Commission, the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Police Integrity Commission, the Anti Corruption Board, State Media and the State Prosecutor General independent as they will be key institutions which will come under the new Constitution.

Opposition alliance leaders recently held assemblies in Male and the South and will hold rallies and seminars this week also to garner public support for a cartetaker government, he explained.

The opposition in Maldives has grouped into the national Unity Alliance including the Adhaalath Party, Islamic Democratic Party, Maldivian Social Liberal Party, the New Maldives Movement and the MDP while a number of NGO's are also signatories to the alliance, he said.

A document outlining transitional arrangements for implementing the new Constitution and the establishment of a national unity government is being actively promoted in the remote atolls in the Maldives as well as among the diplomatic community and friendly countries, he added.


Powered By -

Produced by Upali Group of Companies