Indonesia defeated Maldives by winning the only contested election for the 2019 - 2020 seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council, held Friday.
The secret ballot vote took place at the General Assembly held in New York, among the 190 countries in attendance.
Although Indonesia will be joining the council for a fourth time, Maldives has never before served or contested for a seat on the Security Council.
The greatest advantage to serving as a member of UN’s most powerful body, is gaining a strong voice in dealing with various imminent issues pertaining to different nations around the globe.
Indonesia won the group seat for the Asia Pacific region by 144 votes, 17 more than the required 127 votes for a two-third majority, while Maldives received only 46 votes.
Only the Asian seat was contested, as candidates from other regions were elected unopposed.
The Security Council’s five permanent ‘world power’ members are The United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.
In addition, 10 members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Five countries are elected every year, representing their regional groups.
Belgium and Germany, which have each served on the council five times previously, were elected from the Western European and Others group of nations known as WEOG. South Africa, which has been on the council twice, was elected from the Africa group, and the Dominican Republic, which has never served on the council, was elected from the Latin America and Caribbean group.
The four countries running without opposition for their respective regional groups, all received over 180 votes.
Belgium and Germany, which have each served on the council five times previously, were elected from the Western European and Others group of nations known as WEOG, by 181 votes and 183 votes respectively.
South Africa, which has been on the council twice, was elected from the Africa group with 183 votes, and the Dominican Republic, which has never served on the council, was elected from the Latin America and Caribbean group, earning votes from 184 countries.
Despite Maldives’ substantial defeat in today’s contest, the country won a whopping 185 votes back in 2009, when Maldives competed for a seat on UN’s Human Rights Council.
Indonesia’s landslide win coincides with wave of rising international concerns over Maldives’ current domestic and foreign policies.
In particular, the sentencing and incarceration of all its opposition leaders at this junction, has led to severely weakened ties between the Maldives and the most influential countries across the international community.
While both the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed their concerns via various press statements, Maldives’ longstanding close relationship with India, the largest nation in the region, has also debilitated considerably in recent times.
Observers may also regard Maldives’ recent departure from the Commonwealth as a source of further hindrance to contesting in such an election.