President-elect Yaamin’s first actions must show commitment to human rights

19/11/2013
Press release

Paris, 19th November. Yaamin Abdul Gayoom was elected as president of the Maldives on Sunday. The other candidate, former president Mohammed Nasheed, who resigned under threats of violence in February 2012, accepted the results. Since September, the elections had been postponed three times, raising strong international criticism and fears that supporters of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom were preparing a constitutional coup.

“Given the questionable political environment that preceded the elections, the first actions of Yaamin Abdul Gayoom as president must be to strengthen the independence of all public institutions, and to take irrevocable measures that promote freedom of speech and assembly in the country” said Debbie Stothard, FIDH Secretary General.

Yaamin Abdul Gayoom is the half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in power from 1978 to 2008. Mohammed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, was in power from 2008 to February 2012.

On November 12th, the Maldives were elected as member of the UN Human Rights Council.

Also see FIDH report: "From Sunrise to sunset: Maldives backtracking on democracy" (September 2012)

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