'Not enough done for reform over the past 14 years': MRM

The Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) has said the governments that ruled the Maldives over the past 14 years have not matched the efforts undertaken over a short period by the party's leader and former President of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, towards reform work and welcoming different ideologies.

A statement released by MRM on Tuesday to address and clarify some remarks made by political figures said the Maldives' journey to modern democracy had been long and included many people's participation. It was an effort to change the country's systems to suit modern times and to give the people rights and freedoms in many areas, the statement said.

MRM said the effort was largely impelled by the decision taken by President Maumoon's government to rewrite the constitution and the reform roadmap announced by the then-government. The efforts also determined the system of government that the people preferred, separated the powers of government, and drafted a new constitution based on the decisions, the statement read.

"The Green Constitution adopted on August 7, 2008, paved an important path to introduce the democratic system that the people of the Maldives had been hoping for," it said.

The statement added that while it has been 14 years since the new constitution was adopted and while the 14th anniversary of the Maldives' first democratic election, which Maumoon's government held in 2008 and was accepted by the global community, is approaching, one of the biggest complaints by the country's people is that the governments of the past 14 years had not been able to do as much for reform as Maumoon's government had in a short period.

"There has been inadequate reform and progress in many areas such as the state of prisons, human rights, imprisonment pending trial, social security, corruption, and political influence. The people believe some areas such as social security and religious unity have taken many steps backward compared to 14 years ago," the statement said.

MRM said its appeal is to refrain from gaining political advantage by misrepresenting the truth of the country's political history to today's generation and creating sedition and slaughtering people's reputations for political purposes. The party called on all citizens of the Maldives to work together to achieve the peaceful and prosperous tomorrow that Maldivians envision.