Canada Troubled by Dismissal of Maldives Election Commission

March 10, 2014 - The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply troubled by the decision of the Maldives Supreme Court to dismiss the head and deputy head of the Election Commission of the Maldives. The Court’s decision to censure all members of the commission for ‘disobeying and challenging’ previous Supreme Court judgements also raises questions regarding due process and judicial interference in the electoral process.

“This latest unwarranted judicial intervention is especially troubling on the eve of the March 22 national parliamentary elections. The Maldives Election Commission has done an exceptional job under especially difficult circumstances in ensuring transparent, inclusive and credible electoral processes in the Maldives.

“An independent and effective election commission is an essential element in any genuine democracy, and undermining the commission and its ability to function again places the Maldives’ democratic transition in question. Canada will continue to follow further developments in the Maldives closely.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada