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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

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