On the day of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s inauguration as President, the IPU welcomes the positive developments in the Maldives after years of political instability.
The IPU has been actively involved in the peace-building process in Maldives, notably defending the rights of persecuted MPs including Ibrahim Mohamed Solih himself. Several of those MPs are now taking back their seats in the People’s Majlis, the Maldives Parliament, following Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s victory over President Abdulla Yameen in September’s election.
Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, who was in the Maldives for the inauguration, said “I salute the peaceful democratic transition in the Maldives. The IPU Committee for the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has been lobbying intensively over the years to defend the rights of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih along with other MPs. I am delighted to see a happy outcome that will be an example for the whole region.”
The IPU has been following closely the political situation in the Maldives and undue interference in the Parliament. In August last year, the organization strongly condemned a military lockdown of the Parliament as well as the imprisonment and other human rights violations of opposition MPs.
In another positive development this week, the Parliament passed a bill to repeal a 2016 law that had re-criminalised defamation in the Maldives. The law had introduced large fines and jail sentences for journalists and MPs found guilty of slander. The law was considered by many as contrary to constitutional rights to freedom of expression.