1st August 2012; Male’ - The Government of Maldives is disappointed with the way the Canadian Government has reacted to the demonstrations being staged in Male’ by the MDP since 8 July. The Statement is misleading and represents the interests of one party.
The Government of Maldives would like to make it very clear to the members of the international community that the Government has not arrested, nor has it made any threat of arresting, its political opponents.
It would be clear to anyone familiar with the Constitution of the Maldives that it is the prerogative of the Prosecutor General to decide on whom and when to charge an individual of criminal offence. Former President of Maldives Mr Mohamed Nasheed was charged with offences relating to the arrest of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Judge Abdullah Mohammed in January this year. It can be recalled the independent Prosecutor General of the Maldives ordered the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (another independent State-body), to investigate the case while Mr Nasheed was still President. It therefore follows that Mr Nasheed could indeed have been charged with a criminal offense even if he had not resigned from office.
As part of a reform programme launched in 2004, the Maldives adopted a new Constitution with clear separation of powers between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government. The Constitution also established several new State-bodies, such as the Prosecutor General, and the Human Rights Commission of Maldives. These institutions are fully independent from the Executive branch of the government, and indeed assert their independence. Now that these institutions are independent, everyone, including our valuable friends in the international community should be prepared to accept the decisions of these institutions.
The Government of Maldives is keen to strengthen the capacity of the country’s independent State institutions, and it acknowledges with gratitude the willingness that Canada has shown to help the Government in this regard. The Government of Maldives is committed to continue with our ongoing dialogue with our international partners including Canada, to strengthen and consolidate our young democracy.