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No UN involvement in presidential elections

Fathmath Shaahunaz
16 August 2018, MVT 10:52
United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, H.E. Miroslav Jenča (L) with President Abdulla Yamee Abdul Gayyoom. PHOTO: PRESIDENTS OFFICE
Fathmath Shaahunaz
16 August 2018, MVT 10:52

The United Nations has decided against being involved in any of the aspects of the upcoming Presidential Election in September, revealed the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator to the Maldives.

Aminath Hudha from the Office confirmed that the UN would not observe or monitor the election, telling local media outlet Mihaaru, "The UN Security Council has to make a decision in these cases, but the council has not approved [to be involved in this year's election]."

While the UN has decided against any election involvement, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenca, had visited the Maldives last week and called on President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as well as the opposition.

Following the meeting, the UN Political Affairs Department had stated that Jenca had a "constructive conversation" with the president and his Cabinet members regarding this year's election. Meanwhile, the President's Office reported that the UN had declared its "readiness to support the Elections Commission in holding a free and fair presidential election".

However, according to a credible source on UN matters to the Maldives, as cited anonymously by Mihaaru, the UN Political Affairs Department had conducted an assessment on the Maldives a year prior, and concluded that the Maldives' environment did not necessitate the UN's involvement in the elections.

"This is an assessment done before the UN makes a decision on monitoring an election and whatnot. After the assessment, they decided that the Maldives' environment did not require their support."

In contrast to this year, the UN had offered great assistance to the Maldives in the 2013 elections. The international body had teamed up with the Elections Commission to carry out awareness programmes for voters, training programmes and other activities targeting the youth.

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