The Government of the Maldives takes note of the statement issued by the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) together with Ambassadors of France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and the United States of America (US), on 31 May 2018.

 The Government of the Maldives fully concurs that a legitimate and genuine opposition is a vital part of any healthy democracy. It is equally vital that all political parties conduct their business responsibly in accordance with the Constitution and all relevant rules and regulations governing the Political Party Act (Act No. 4/2013). Attempts to undermine the Constitution and the laws of the land and to hoodwink the people and hype pre-election political rhetoric cannot be considered as responsible political activities and thus will not have any place in the current political landscape of the country. Actions taken by the Government to stop such illegal and irresponsible activities and to maintain law and order and peace in the country should not be considered as actions aimed at curtailing or limiting fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution, including freedom of assembly and speech. The Government will spare no effort to protect and promote fundamental freedoms and ensure that the rule of law is implemented to the letter and spirit of the Constitution without any exceptions.

 As friends of the Maldives, it is important for the international community, especially the proponents of the statement, to equally urge and encourage the opposition parties to refrain from such illegal activities and to genuinely demonstrate their full support and commitment to ensure the conduct of a smooth, transparent, credible and an inclusive elections process.

 A decade has passed since the adoption of the current Constitution which introduced multi-party politics to the Maldives. All elections held during the past decade were conducted peacefully, including two presidential elections, two parliamentary elections, two local council elections and several bi-elections, which the international and local observers have declared as free, fair and credible. Therefore, the Government is confident that there is no room for the presidential elections scheduled for September this year to be an exception.

 The Government would like to take this opportunity to reiterate its firm and unwavering commitment to work with the Elections Commission of the Maldives and all other concerned authorities of the State to ensure free and fair elections in which all eligible candidates are granted an equal opportunity to contest.

 Further, the Government of Maldives would like to take this opportunity to expresses its gratitude to the European Union and other stakeholders for the support extended towards electoral and governance reform.