Speaker criticizes Commonwealth SG over delay in approving Maldives membership

  • Nasheed accuses commonwealth chief of bias, calls delay unreasonable
  • Commonwealth SG was a consultant for the previous Mohamed Waheed Hassan government
  • Commonwealth official claims work is ongoing to finalize the membership

K. Male' 2019 Dec 07 | Sat 16:46 local 1,890

Speaker of Parliament, Nasheed - Majlis

Speaker of Parliament, former president Nasheed has criticized the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, over the delay in accepting the Maldives' resubmission of membership to the Commonwealth.

Indian newspaper, "The Wire", reports Nasheed gave them an exclusive statement accusing the SG of partisanship and purposefully delaying the membership process.

He is reported to have pointed out Scotland’s role as a consultant for the previous Mohamed Waheed Hassan government, prior to her appointment as the commonwealth's chief.

Moreover, he highlighted that the holdup is unreasonable considering that the commonwealth has sent delegations to visit the Maldives and conducted assessment missions on three separate occasions.

In response, a Commonwealth official denied these allegations, reiterating the secretary-general's commitment to fast-tracking the process and stated that the work is ongoing to consult with member states as part of the admission process.

Re-admission to the Commonwealth is a four-step process that starts with the aspirant country making an expression of interest, followed by an assessment undertaken by the secretary-general. Next, member states are consulted and the applicant will be invited to make a formal submission. Finally, the applicant provides official documentations of “functioning of democratic processes and popular support in that country for joining the Commonwealth”.

As per these procedures, a decision regarding Maldives’ readmission will be made at its Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the earliest one is scheduled for July 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Maldives joined the commonwealth on 9th July 1982. The country left the Commonwealth during former President Abdulla Yameen’s administration in October 2016, amid mounting pressure from the group over corruption and deteriorating human rights. Yameens administration accused the Commonwealth of interfering in domestic affairs and “unfair and unjust” treatment.

Solih’s administration passed to rejoin the organization, shortly after assuming office in November 2018 and a request for readmission was sent in early December.

Last updated at: 6 months ago | Reviewed by: Zihnath Hassan

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