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Royal Commonwealth Society statement on Maldives

PRESS RELEASE: 21.10.2016

Royal Commonwealth Society statement on Maldives leaving the Commonwealth

The Royal Commonwealth Society is concerned by Maldives’ decision to leave the Commonwealth, which comes after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)’s repeated exchanges with Maldives over breaches of civil and political rights and democratic values.

In its assessment of Maldives, CMAG sighted a lack of “…political space available to the opposition”…“the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary; and the independence and lawful functioning of democratic institutions.”

Human rights groups including the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, based in New Delhi have also raised such concerns.

The Society supports the work of CMAG, which reflects the diversity of all Commonwealth states, large and small. It commends the Commonwealth Secretariat’s attempts to offer technical assistance and Good Offices to the Maldives government in support of democratic reform. The Society recommends that this support and assistance remain on the table if Maldives chooses to work towards building a democratic culture and democratic institutions through re-joining the Commonwealth.

The RCS believes that the decision to leave represents a loss both for Maldives and the Commonwealth and hopes that it will return to the Commonwealth family in the future.


Notes to editors:

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Through youth empowerment, education and advocacy, the RCS promotes the value and the values of the Commonwealth.

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