A group of Commonwealth observers, led by Danny Faure, the former President of Seychelles, has begun its mission in the Maldives ahead of the presidential election scheduled for 9 September. 

Issuing a statement in the capital, Malé, Faure emphasised the significance of the group’s presence, marking the first Commonwealth Observer Group in the Maldives since the country re-joined the Commonwealth in February 2020.

“This moment is even more significant as this will be the first Commonwealth Observer Group to observe an election in the country since Maldives re-joined the Commonwealth in February 2020,” Faure noted. He stated that their mission affirms the Commonwealth’s “continuing solidarity with the people of Maldives.”

Faure was keen to underscore the observer group’s independence, stating, “Our mandate is to observe, and not to interfere with the electoral process.” The group plans to assess the pre-election environment, polling day, and the post-election period, providing a substantive account of their observations.

The Commonwealth Observer Group arrived in Maldives on Saturday and will remain in the country until 15 September. Over the next four days, they are set to receive briefings from various stakeholders, including election management officials, representatives of political parties, civil society organisations, police, diplomats, and both citizen and international observers.

“We will consider the electoral process as a whole and report on whether it has been conducted in accordance with the national, Commonwealth, and other international standards to which Maldives has committed itself,” Faure added.

The group’s final report will be submitted to Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the Maldivian government, the Elections Commission, political parties, and Commonwealth member governments. It will subsequently be made publicly available.