Maldives: Opposition Candidates Barred From Election
By Human Rights Watch - Tue May 29, 10:45 pm
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A supporter shouts slogans during a protest calling for the release of opposition political prisoners in front of the Maldives embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 6, 2018.
© 2018 Reuters
The Maldives’ Election Commission should end its politically motivated exclusion of opposition party candidates from the September 2018 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Election Commission announced in May it would reject the presidential candidacy of anyone convicted of criminal charges, effectively banning the four main opposition leaders from running. The commission also threatened to dissolve the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) if its sole candidate, former President Mohamed Nasheed, contested the party’s May 30 primaries. The joint opposition accused the commission of being “hopelessly politicized” after it left only the incumbent president, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, eligible to run.
“The Maldives’ Election Commission has shed its pretense of impartiality and independence with its rejection of opposition candidates,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The commission’s threats not only to oust candidates but to shut down entire parties pose a new risk to the country’s already jeopardized electoral freedoms….