The European Union on Thursday criticized politicians for the lack of electoral reform in the Maldives.
It said such changes were not a priority on the domestic political agenda, meaning there was no progress in implementing EU recommendations.
“Domestically, neither the government nor the People’s Majlis nor the opposition have sought to address the issue of electoral reforms,” said an EU statement. “To date, the political and institutional environment of the Republic of Maldives has not been conducive for the adoption of meaningful and concerted electoral reforms.”
Following the 2014 parliamentary election observation mission— the largest such EU mission to the country — the EU recommended 22 steps including electoral reform.
The follow-up report said there had been limited progress and that only the Gender Equality Act was “a positive development in line with an EOM recommendation.”
Eduard Kukan, a European Parliament member who led the latest EU mission to the Maldives, also remarked on the “shrinking political space” in the country.
“The current conditions have to change so the next elections are held in line with the international obligations of the Maldives,” he said. “Political contestants need to be able to freely campaign on a level playing field, and civil society and the media need to be able to freely perform their oversight functions.”
The full report can be read here.