Commonwealth observer group issues Final Report on Maldives Presidential elections

Commonwealth observer group issues Final Report on Maldives Presidential elections

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma on Wednesday has released the Final Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group which observed the Maldives Presidential Election on 8 October 2008 and the subsequent run-off elections on 28 October.

Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, in the report expressed that "The Commonwealth Observer Group found that the process was credible overall and met many of the benchmarks for democratic elections to which Maldives has committed itself”.

Sharma noted that "the high level of transparency, inclusiveness, determination and interest of the electorate to participate in such large numbers stood out as positive features".

Sharma also encouraged the Maldives government to implement the Group's recommendations for further strengthening the electoral process and procedures ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, expected to be held by 15 February 2009. In particular, issues relating to the process of voter registration and compilation of the voter list.

Secretary General Sharma commended Maldivian people for the peaceful conduct of the first ever multi-party Presidential elections, and the spirit of co-operation and inclusiveness which marked the transition to a new government.

"The Commonwealth will continue to support Maldives in its efforts to build on this spirit of political co-operation and dialogue to help create a culture of democracy and to further consolidate democratic institutions and procedures in Maldives" Secretary General Sharma said.

The Report was completed and signed by all members of the Commonwealth Observer Group prior to their departure from Maldives. It was presented to the Commonwealth Secretary-General by the leader of the Group, Owen Arthur MP, former Prime Minister of Barbados.

Source: Miadhu News


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