Saturday, 15 October 2015
PR: CYNZ concerned by Maldives decision to leave The Commonwealth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand today expressed concern with the decision made by the Government of Maldives to withdraw from The Commonwealth. The country’s government, which has been fending off rumours of an impending coup and allegations of money laundering, said the decision on Thursday to cancel its membership was “difficult but inevitable”.
Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, said "In September, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) gave the Government of Maldives six months to address concerns including the detention and prosecution of opposition leaders, meddling with the judiciary and undermining democratic institutions.
"It is sad to see that the Government of Maldives has reacted with a show of force rather than take steps to rectify these very serious issues with the rule of law and transparency - this is a capitulation of its duty to uphold and champion good governance," said Mr Hape.
“This is also a huge setback to civil society and the democracy movement. As noted in the final report from the Commonwealth Observer Group for the 2013 Presidential Elections, some national institutions have raised real concerns over the credibility and transparency of government and civic engagement - issues that the Commonwealth has and can offer technical assistance to alleviate and will now most likely cease given the withdrawal of membership.
"I echo the Commonwealth Secrety-General's desire to see the Maldives rejoin the Commonwealth family very soon and hope this is only a temporary decision", Mr Hape said.