UN official urges leaders in Maldives to conduct free, credible and non-violent elections

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Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Political Affairs [UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras]

Maldives is at a critical juncture, according to UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

The UN official who has just wrapped up a 3-day visit to the Indian Ocean nation, stressed that the forthcoming elections will be an important step in the democratic transition and encouraged all political actors to contribute to free, fair, inclusive, credible and non-violent elections.

The Assistant Secretary-General also called for the strengthening of the justice sector and the independence of the judiciary.

In a press statement, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco said he made it clear to senior government officials, the judiciary, elections commission, political parties and representatives of civil society that elections by themselves are not sufficient to address the long-term social and economic challenges facing the country.

He called on political leaders to commit to dialogue and focus their campaigns on needs and concrete proposals to meet them.

And in meetings with Government, political stakeholders and other authorities, he recommended that concrete steps be urgently taken to increase the effectiveness of the Maldives Police Service and the Police Integrity Commission, the Judiciary and the Judicial Services Commission, the Peoples Majlis and the Human Rights Commission

Assistant Secretary-General Taranco-Fernandez urged all concerned to ensure that allegations of police brutality be urgently investigated and perpetrators held to account.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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