The Maldives on Thursday announced its exit from the Commonwealth over allegations of corruption and human rights violations. The foreign ministry said they have been treated “unjustly and unfairly” and added that the decision was “difficult, but inevitable.”
The Maldives government has come under pressure from the Commonwealth ministerial action group ever since former President Mohamed Nasheed was ousted in 2012, after he was convicted on terrorism charges. The group has criticised the nation for its judiciary and controversial crackdowns on dissidents in the country. On September 23, the 53-nation group had threatened Maldives with suspension if it failed to show progress in key democratic governance issues by March next year.
David White, chief of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, expressed regret at Maldives' decision. He said, “We did call for them to be suspended, but that was in order to call for more support for the Commonwealth to push for political reform.”
The Maldives became a democracy in 2008 with the end of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s rule. But the rise of Abdulla Yameen has invited crises and the prosecution of political leaders, reported The Guardian.