The current Associations Act and regulations adversely affects the formation and running of civil society organizations due to the ineffective and bureaucratic system that does not distinguish between foundations, charities, sports clubs, NGO’s, CBO’s and federations and imposes one set of rules on all associations leading to administrative and governance difficulties; a legal framework from 2003 that does not take into account the expansive Bill of Rights enshrined in the Chapter Two of the 2008 Constitution of Maldives 2008; no provisions and systems in the current administrative and legal framework.

Work is underway in reforming the Associations Act in oder to develop and foster an enabling environment for the civil society to flourish.The governance, transparency and functioning of CBO’s will improve if the systemic issues in the regulatory framework are addressed.

Comments and recommendations on 2003 Associations Act addresses several legal issues with the 2003 Associations Act of the Maldives.


The right to form associations is a Constitutional right in the Maldives. Civil society play a vital role in strengthening public confidence in state institutions, social stability and improving tolerance within a free and democratic society.

Maldives is signatory to several international human rights treaty bodies, of which the article 20 of the UDHR prescribes that every person shall have the freedom to assembly and association. Freedom of expression is closely linked to the freedoms to assembly and association. The articles 19, 21 and 22 of the ICCPR oblige states to provide for these freedoms through the establishment of legal mechanisms and procedures.

This paper will look at the Constitutional provision in the Maldives to freedom of association, and the legal system that ensures the implementation of this right. As such, the gaps in the existing legislation will be explored and recommendations made in order to close these gaps and move forward in conforming to international obligations and standards for an open democratic system of governance.

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Freedom of Association in Maldives – Position Paper
Freedom of Association in Maldives – Position Paper


The National Integrity System of the Maldives is based on three compound structures of key institutions: the core government agencies of Legislature, the Executive and theJudiciary the public sector agencies, the Civil Service and Law Enforcement Agencies the Elections Commission and Anti Corruption Commission, Auditor General’s Office the Media and the Civil Society Organisations, Political parties and private sectorBusiness.

The methodology and guiding questions applied for the research are developed by Transparency International and are based on the concept of a strong National Integrity System (NIS) to ensure a sustained and strong control over corruption in all areas of the society. Visit http://goo.gl/eALDRV to learn about the NIS concept.

The conceptual framework of the National Integrity System (NIS) stresses the role and interplay of a broader institutional framework of the State, including ‘anti-corruption agents in government, civil society, the business community and other relevant sectors, in ‘building [the] momentum, political will and civic pressure for relevant reform initiatives’ required to reduce and eliminate corruption in public service. Therefore, in assessing the National Integrity System (NIS) of the Maldives, it is important for the assessment to investigate that process, and the outcome of interplay between institutions. This study draws up conclusions and recommendations with due consideration to that interplay. Recommendations provided in this study should be read reflecting on the factors that affect this interplay and its outcomes.

Political bias created through intermingled political thinking and practices embedded in key political institutions, including the Legislature and the Executive, reduces the capacity of other institutions to function independently. Moreover, political bias embedded in the institutional framework further reduces the level of accountability, transparency and integrity functions of almost all the institutions.

The legal framework, starting with the Constitution that provides and guarantees basic rights of people in the Maldivian society, establishes a notable legislative framework for the good governance of socio-economic activities. However, the broader legal framework lacks adequate organisational structures and capabilities, and this weakens the adaptive efficiency of that legal framework to practically execute institutional tasks in the most effective manner. Further, this institutional weakness lies with weak historical institutions or traditionally transmitted historical undemocratic constitutional rules that are embedded in the current political system. The Maldives only created a democratic political system after the enactment of its first-ever democratic Constitution in 2008. Prior to that, the Maldives followed a Constitution that was built on pre-1965 monarchical practices, and encompassed a Constitutional Government with weak political institutions, vesting excessive powers in the rulers or policy-makers. Although the Constitution of 2008 created a democratic Constitutional Government, the traditionally transmitted undemocratic political practices are also embedded in the new politico-institutional framework, thus weakening the overall institutional framework, and leaving room for mis-governance and political malpractices. Hence, the political and legal institutions in place to govern the society are also weakened, reducing their capacity to create and uphold national integrity.

View/download our press statement on NIS in Dhivehi.
View/download the National Integrity System Assessment, Maldives 2014

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National Integrity System Assessment, Maldives 2014


Transparency Maldives conducted a nationwide random survey of the

Maldivian public in August 2013. The survey used repeatedly tested

survey questions and the results are reliable within a margin of error of

+⁄− 3.0%. That project was grounded in the conviction that the suc-

cessful performance of democratic institutions requires a complementary

set of supporting democratic values.

The results point to significant democratic deficits within Maldivian

political culture.

Read the full report here Democracy at the Crossroads; The Results of 2013 Maldives Democracy Survey

 

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Democracy at the Crossroads
Democracy at the Crossroads


Article 4 of the Constitution of the Maldives stipulates that

all the powers of the State of the Maldives are derived

from the citizens and remain with the citizens. The power

to elect representatives through elections ensure that the

powers of the state do remain with the citizens. Direct and

elected representatives at island and community level will

help improve local governance and the democratic system.
The purpose of this position paper is to bring to the

attention of the public and relevant institutions some of the

major systemic issues within the electoral framework and

advocate for changes to the system.

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Local Council Election 2014 – Position Paper


Article 4 of the Constitution of the Maldives stipulates that all the powers of the State of the Maldives are derived from the citizens and remain with the citizens. The power to elect representatives through elections ensure that the powers of the state do remain with the citizens. Direct and elected representatives at island and community level will help improve local governance and the democratic system.

The purpose of this position paper is to bring to the attention of the public and relevant institutions some of the major systemic issues within the electoral framework and advocate for changes to the system.

This paper highlights critical and fundamental issues in the local governance and council election systems. Transparency Maldives hopes that this paper creates discussion on these issues and paves way for the implementation of the recommendations to strengthen the local governance and council election systems.

Click to view/download full position paper in English

Click to view/download full position paper in Dhivehi


Since inception, with only three staff a little over five years ago, Transparency Maldives (TM) has expanded and diversified, undertaking anti-corruption research and advocacy programs, and consequently widening our network partnership to include several of the key institutions. TM has become a reliable force in combating corruption and promoting good governance in the Maldives. We have also become a credible voice both nationally and internationally for our efforts in leading the systematic observation of the heavily contested 2013 Presidential election, where we employed cutting edge methods and international standards in observing the election, and deployed over 400 observers across the country.

 

Having established our relevance in the national public sphere and society, at a time when the corruption scale is worsening amid extreme politicization of institutions and polarization of society, we are committed to working with our wide and diverse stakeholder base, despite the many challenges ahead in establishing tangible measures against corruption in the Maldives.

 

Using Transparency International’s best practice guidelines and with extensive stakeholder discussions analysing our priorities, Professor Arjuna Prakrama guided our stakeholder dialogue and supported the development of this strategic plan under severe personal health challenges. We thank Professor Prakrama for his contribution as the consultant for this plan.

 

We are also grateful to Transparency International for funding this project. We would also like to congratulate and thank, Iham Mohamed, TM’s previous Executive Director, for directing the project and Thoriq Hamid for managing and overseeing the successful completion of the project. I also thank all who participated in this deliberative process.

 

It is hoped that this strategic plan will guide us further and increase our collective strength in the fight against corruption to achieve progressive gains in all aspects of our multi-pronged campaign to save our society from the pernicious effects and resiliency of corruption.

 

Click to view/download the strategic plan


The Climate Finance Integrity Programme was piloted in 2011 by Transparency International in six countries, including the Maldives, to monitor the increasing climate related finance, the governance of raising and managing these funds and the governance of these funds within the selected countries. This report is the national report for the mapping assessment conducted for Maldives. The research has briefly looked at all government institutions that were active during the research phase, from 2011 to mid-2013, in the delivery and monitoring of climate change projects that were funded by the government or externally.

 

Read the full report here Assessment of Climate Finance in the Maldives


Renewing relevance,

prioritizing participation & communicating for credibility

It is hoped that this strategic plan will guide us further and increase our collective strength in

the fight against corruption to achieve progressive gains in all aspects of our multi-pronged

campaign to save our society from the pernicious effects and resiliency of corruption.

Strategic priorities and specific interventions are arranged around five thematic

areas and broad strategic interventions have been prioritized as they combine TM’s comparative

advantage and proven success with the Maldives’ most crucial needs, and because taken

together they mutually reinforce each other.