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Summit for Democracy: Hypocrisy & Provocation.

Hamdhan Shakeel

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On 15th September 2021 U.S. President Joe Biden announced that it would be holding a Summit for Democracy on 09th December 2021. According to U.S. President Joe Biden, the summit will seek to bring the heads of world governments, civil societies and the private sector to “set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal”.

From the onset, red flags were raised on the exact intended function of the summit as the U.S. provoked major global powers and democratic countries were left uninvited for the Summit for Democracy. China, Russia, Sri Lanka were among those who were not invited to the summit. Moreover the U.S. strategically provoked some of the nations which posed a threat to U.S. imperialism.

In the case of China, the U.S. invited Taiwan to the summit. Taiwan, which is an undeniably a part of China was invited to the summit in an act of provocation at a critical juncture as U.S. and its allies continue to threaten the stability of the region through their unwarranted military presence in the South China Sea. If we were to turn the tables around and analyze a hypothetical scenario where Russia were to invite Puerto Rico or Guam to a similar summit while blocking the U.S., they would retaliate with military action citing intimidation, provocation and the need to defend their territories.

Along with China, Russia and Sri Lanka, several other nations were also left uninvited for the summit, including countries like Bolivia and Venezuela where the U.S. has been accused of funding anti-government factions and meddling in domestic affairs.

The reason these democratic countries were left uninvited was due to the lack of democracy, or to be more precise for not meeting the definition of democracy by the U.S. This is in contrary to what U.S. President Joe Biden said on 15th February 20201, where he said that “No democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever final. Every gain made, every barrier broken, is the result of determined, unceasing work.”.

While U.S. President Joe Biden claims that every democracy requires time to evolve to cater to its host country, the U.S. in practice does not adhere to this belief. The western nations which spent hundreds of years at war with each other and themselves, adopted their current democratic system through centuries of bloodshed. Now, laced with Eurocentricity the very same western nations demand the rest of the world to forgo their culture, history and social identify and to adopt their definitions of democracy overnight, or face economic sanctions or military action.

Just as the parliamentary democratic system under the monarchy is unsuitable for the U.S., the U.S.’ definition of democracy may be unsuitable for a nation halfway around the globe.

 Moreover, the U.S.’ monopolistic claim over democracy and its projection as the global defender and savior of democracy is questionable due to its historically backed fact that the U.S. has toppled more democratic governments than any other country and due to their weak internal democratic system.

According to Sweden’s International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)1, democracy in the U.S. is regressing. They stated that there was visible deterioration of democracy in the U.S. including decline in civil liberties, increasing polarization, voter participation suppression. These factors have led to the U.S. people to even lose faith in their democratic system.

A recent study2 by the U.S. think tank Pew Research Center showed that amongst U.S. allies nations, only 17% saw the U.S. as an ideal democracy while only 19% of Americans believe that they are a model for democracy. While this shows the lack of faith in the system by both the American people and their allies, the study also revealed that 57% of their allies believe that U.S. democracy is in a state of regression.

As the U.S. President Joe Biden surrounds itself with autocrats like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi    who has been accused of being engineering the decline of democracy in India and the rise of ethnocracy, the U.S. President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy is more akin to a global summit on hegemony and intimidation.

If the U.S. is sincere in their efforts to promote democracy, they should first and foremost address their undeniable domestic decline in the democratic system and its social fabric. Intimidation, provocation and hegemony will not pave way not promote democracy. As long as the U.S. continues to meddle with the natural evolution of the democracies around globe, the ideal democratic society for world nations will never be achieved.

1- https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/11/22/united-states-backsliding-democracies-list-first-time/

2- https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/11/01/what-people-around-the-world-like-and-dislike-about-american-society-and-politics/

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President casts ballot in parliamentary election

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has cast his vote in the parliamentary elections.

President Muizzu cast his vote at a polling station based in Thaajuddeen School. Following his vote, he urged the public to exercise their right by voting promptly.

The Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) revealed that the voting will take place between 0800hrs to 1730hrs, highlighting that voting commenced promptly at nearly all polling stations on time.

In the current parliamentary elections, the ruling party People’s National Congress (PNC) led by President Muizzu has nominated candidates to contest in 90 constituencies.

Source(s): PsmNews

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ECM urges to vote independently and promptly

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President of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) Fuwad Thowfeeq has urged the populace to promptly cast their ballot.

In a message to media commemorating voting day, Fuwad Thowfeeq urged the voting population to cast votes independently and promptly. Voting for the 20th parliamentary election began at 0800hrs on April 21.

Additionally, ballot boxes are placed in all residential islands, 34 resorts, correctional facilities, industrial islands and as well as 3 countries abroad. ECM confirmed a total of 602 ballot boxes are placed.

Moreover, Fuwad reiterated that the electoral body is fully equipped for the preparation of the polling stations, highlighting that all administrative work necessary has been initiated. The ECM has initiated a reduction in the number of voters per polling station. Therefore, 500 individuals can now voter per box.

Furthermore, efforts are currently being made by the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to guarantee a smooth and seamless elections. Subsequently, MPS raised its alert level by launching a special operation named “Operation Blue Tide”. Simultaneously, it resolved to use ‘body worn cameras’ to ensure the utmost security throughout the election process.

Commander of Maldives Police Service Abdulla Shareef underscored that police personnel have been stationed at various polling stations, ensuring its safety. It further urged the public to cooperate with the temporary amendments made to the traffic guidelines. Meanwhile, transportation of heavy vehicles will be prohibited following the parliamentary elections.

Additionally, individuals with special needs, pregnant women, the elderly, and those working in uniformed services will be awarded priority access at polling stations, exempting them from queues. Concurrently, it stressed the importance of carrying official documents when voting.

The counting of votes begins 30 minutes after the polling place closes.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Voting begins for the parliamentary election 2024

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Voting has begun for the 2024 parliamentary election.

Polling stations opened in Male’ and the atolls at 0800hrs and will close at 1730hrs, as per the decision of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM). Voters began queuing up at the polling stations at around 0730hrs and the security envelopes were opened in the presence of the first two voters at the polling stations.

A total of 602 ballot boxes have been set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election. Polling stations are also open in 34 resorts, prisons and other industrial islands. The countries in which ballot boxes are placed for voting are Trivandrum in India (0830hrs to 1800hrs), Colombo in Sri Lanka (0830hrs to 1800hrs) and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (1100hrs to 2030hrs).

ECM has made several arrangements to ensure maximum convenience to all during the election process. As such, each ballot box is open for 500 individuals. Additionally, ECM affirmed that the allocated time for voting will not be extended under any circumstances, hence urging residents to cast their votes promptly.

With a total of 93 various constituencies, the eligible voting population for the election is 284،663, including 145،302 male and 139،361 female voters. While the current 19th parliament consists of members representing 87 districts, decisions have been made such that the forthcoming 20th parliament will encompass an additional six districts. The additional six constituencies are as follows: two chairs for Male’ City, one chair for Addu City, one chair for Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi (Baa Atoll), one chair for Male’ Atoll and one chair for Huvadhu Atholhu Uthuruburi (Gaafu Alif Atoll).

The current parliamentary term will conclude on May 30, 2025.

Source(s): PsmNews

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