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Maldives President Talks Self-Rule With McKinnon

President Gayoom reaffirms his unswerving commitment to bring full liberal democracy to the Maldives

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom today reaffirmed his unswerving commitment to bring full liberal democracy to the Maldives. The President made the remark in a telephone conversation with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Don McKinnon, who had called the President to inquire about his wellbeing and that of the people of the Maldives, following the incidents of 12 and 13 August.

The President thanked Secretary General McKinnon for his thoughtful gesture in calling him at the present time. The President said that he would not let fundamentalist elements and other political extremists derail the reform agenda that he had laid out on 9 June.

Secretary General McKinnon reassured the President that, at a time of national emergency, the Commonwealth Secretariat would extend whatever assistance that the Maldives asked for. He noted that the Commonwealth warmly welcomed the President’s reform proposals of 9 June, and encouraged the President to continue to strive towards achieving these objectives, in spite of attempts to disrupt that process.

A British protectorate for nearly 75 years, the Maldives at Independence opted to remain outside the Commonwealth. It was President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who in 1982 secured membership for the Maldives in the Commonwealth, an organisation committed to democracy and development.

Notes to editors:

The President’s reform agenda can be found on

The Press Release on the mob violence on Thursday and Friday can also be found on

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