Elections Commission (EC) on Sunday night revealed that neither the United Nations (UN) nor European Union (EU) would observe the upcoming Presidential Election slated for September 23.
Speaking at a press conference, EC's President Ahmed Shareef shared that the UN had stated it was not an organisation that participated in monitoring of elections, as the reason for declining the Maldives' invitation to observe the upcoming election.
"We were first unofficially made aware that the EU would participate. But around the middle of this month, the EU stated in a letter to the foreign ministry that it was not interested in observing the election. So there will not be any participation from the EU or UN," he said.
While the EC has revealed the decisions of the UN and EU, it is of note that both organisations had lent great assistance to the 2013 elections, including a nationwide awareness programme for voters, and training programmes. The EU had also observed the last parliamentary elections.
At the press conference, EC member Ahmed Akram declared that 34 international bodies are to monitor this year's presidential election, including major foreign media outlets.
He further assured that while the UN and EU have declined to observe the election, the EC would seek their counsel in proceeding with the electoral process.
While the EU has declined to monitor the election, the union's Council last month passed a resolution to impose restrictive sanctions on the Maldives. The EU has approved a framework to place sanctions on state institutions and individuals that infringe human rights and obstruct political freedom in the island nation.
The sanctions include travel bans on select individuals and freezing their assets, which are to be implemented after the EU gazettes the list of targeted individuals.