However, it urges them to work speedily to put in place conditions conducive to the organization of free and fair elections allowing for open participation. The outcome should reflect the will of the people and allay continuing tensions within the country.
The IPU mission reaffirms the important role that the Parliament of Maldives should play in resolving the current conflict in the country. As the pre-eminent forum for dialogue and mediation, the parliament has to be able to continue its work unhindered when it reconvenes on 1 March.
The mission is urging the authorities to ensure that all members of parliament can attend parliamentary proceedings, express their positions freely and so fulfil their mandate to represent the wishes of those who elected them. Similarly, members of parliament need to carry out their work in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect for others.
The mission also calls upon all actors in the crisis, including parliamentarians, to refrain from any pronouncements or actions that might cause tensions to escalate or lead to violence. It is important that the rule of law is upheld, human rights are respected and fundamental freedoms adhered to.
It urges the parliamentary authorities to establish a forum for on-going dialogue between all the political parties represented there. The forum should be politically and gender inclusive and be governed by an agreed code of conduct.
“At this particular stage of the crisis, parliament’s role in conflict resolution is even more crucial. Such a forum is an effective way to put that role into concrete action. It would also complement the all-party consultative meeting appointed by the President,” says Martin Chungong, the IPU envoy to the Maldives.
“Ultimately,” he adds, it is parliament that will be called upon to give legal force to compromises reached by political leaders.”
The IPU mission due to end today, has been asked to extend its stay and help mediate to ensure the proper functioning of parliament. It will also offer its expertise and share good practices in consensual decision-making.
In the longer term, the mission will recommend that the IPU continues assisting the Maldives Parliament in addressing the challenges of building strong legislative framework, forging and consolidating a culture of democracy and in strengthening the relationship between parliament and other arms of government.
The IPU mission also strongly recommends that the Organization continues monitoring the political situation in the Maldives, assists members of parliament who suffer human rights violations and takes any necessary action to help the country consolidate the democratic gains achieved in recent years.