Maldives free elections threatened by lack of pluralism

Reporters Without Borders voiced fears that 22 January elections in the
Maldives had virtually no chance of being free and fair as promised by
the government because of a striking absence of press freedom. Reporters Without Borders voiced fears that 22 January elections in the
Maldives had virtually no chance of being free and fair as promised by
the government because of a striking absence of press freedom. Control over both public and private media wielded by President Maumoon
Abdul Gayoom, his family and supporters was a flagrant violation of
Article 25 of the Constitution that guarantees “the right to express
ones conscience and ideas verbally, in writing or by any other method”,
it said.

The worldwide press freedom organisation strongly regretted that the
government, which postponed elections after the tsunami disaster, had
not taken steps to ensure free media coverage of the campaign for a new
Majlis (parliament).

The Maldives were ranked, in October 2004, in 157th position out of
167, in Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index.

The organisation urged international observers currently in the
Maldives, particularly those from the Commonwealth headed by th