Germany concerned over erosion of democracy in Maldives

  • Germany had condemned the method of vote over the no-confidence motion against parliament speaker Maseeh
  • It also described the prosecution of opposing politicians to be 'worrying'
  • It called on the government to not 'harass' journalists and civil society

K. Male' | Shan Anees | 07-April-2017 | Friday 19:46 | twitter | Local | 1,099

The police during their efforts to disband protests following the arrest of Qasim Ibrahim on Thursday, 6th April, 2017 -- Photo by: raajjemv

The German Embassy in Sri Lanka has joined the chorus on nations that have condemned the method of the vote against parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh, and the prosecution of opposition members. 

In a statement on Friday, the embassy said that it was concerned about the ‘erosion’ of democracy in the Maldives. 

“The disturbing news about the ensuing harassment of opposition politicians is contrary to democratic standards” the statement said, in addition to also maintaining that the vote on the no-confidence motion ‘clearly violated the rules of procedure of the Parliament’. 

It also urged the government to stop ‘harassing’ the media, parliamentarians, and civil society. 

Parliamentarians took the no-confidence motion against Abdulla Maseeh on 27th March 2017. 

It ended with opposition MPs abstaining to vote following a controversial decision to resort to a roll call method of voting, without substantiating the status of the electronic voting system. 

Journalists and organisations of the civil society were barred from observing parliamentary proceedings. 

The governments of Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union along with the United Nations had criticized the method of voting implemented for the no-confidence motion.

The Foreign Ministry assured the international community, which raised concerns over the validity of the vote due to its clear violation of parliamentary procedure, that the vote was ‘free, fair, and transparent’. 

The statement resonates with Transparency Maldives’ call on the government to end its prosecution of opposition politicians and find an amicable solution to its differences, following the arrest of Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim. 

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