Colombo, October 13 (NIA): The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has condemned “in the strongest terms” the Maldivian government’s decision to leave the Commonwealth.
The decision was taken unilaterally by the Cabinet without consulting parliament, and comes unexpectedly,” said the MDP’s international spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.
The decision comes after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, on September 23,2016, placed Maldives on the Commonwealth’s formal agenda and warned of suspension by March 2017 from the Commonwealth “in the absence of substantive progress across the priority areas.”
The government quit the Commonwealth saying “the CMAG and the Commonwealth Secretariat seem to be convinced that the Maldives, because of the high and favorable reputation that the country enjoys internationally, and also perhaps because it is a small state that lacks material power, would be an easy object that can be used, especially in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the organization’s own relevance and leverage in international politics.”
According to the MDP, since 1982, when the Maldives joined the Commonwealth, it has benefited in trade, commerce, travel, medicine, education, sports and youth development.
“Therefore, the government’s decision today will bring irredeemable damage in these areas, and for the Maldives’ standing in the international community,” the MDP spokesman Ghafoor said.
The decision was taken unilaterally by the Cabinet and the Executive, without consultation with the Parliament or the people of the Maldives, he said.
“The decision is a knee-jerk reaction to widespread international condemnation of the government’s continued human rights violations, endemic corruption and the increasing accusations of money laundering. Through its corrupt, brutish, amoral governance conducted with complete disregard to the rights of the Maldivian people, the government has cornered itself into a pariah state.”
“ The Yameen Government appears to believe that with this isolationism from the community of democratic nations, it will be able to escape further scrutiny or castigation.”
“The MDP calls upon the Government of the Maldives to address the relentless calls for reform, rather than continuing this petulance,” the MDP spokesman said.