A discussion paper prepared by President Waheed, expected to serve as the basis for discussion by political parties in the Maldives.

I. Aims

There exists an opportunity for all relevant parties and actors to come together in order to ensure:

•Stability, safety and security for all in the Maldives;

•Continuity in the process of democratic reform;

•Governance in accordance with human rights and the rule of law, and maintenance of the established constitutional order;

•Prevention of a serious disruption of economic development that would jeopardise the viability of the state and its future prospects.

II. Immediate Action

The following immediate action shall be taken:

•All sides will ensure that a period of calm can prevail, to ensure space for further discussions among the relevant parties. All leaders will call upon their followers to pursue political aims exclusively through dialogue and peaceful aims.

•The authorities are committed to human rights and the exercise of public authority fully in accordance with human rights and the rule of law.

•While the right to peaceful assembly will be respected, there will be no incitement to violence against people and property.

•The government and relevant agencies will ensure that the police and security services will exercise restraint and not resort to excessive measures, putting at risk the lives and well being of members of the public, including peaceful demonstrators.

•Immediate steps will be taken to ensure due process for anyone detained and full access to their families and lawyers. No one shall be detained through extra legal processes and for political reasons.

•There will be no vengeance or politically motivated prosecutions.

•The Human Rights Commission will accelerate its monitoring role, along with the Police Integrity Commission. The U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights is invited to help strengthen the relevant institutions to ensure their effective functioning and to add further transparency to the situation.

III. Governance

The political parties are invited to come together to form a Government of National Unity under the leadership of the President over the period leading up to the scheduled Presidential elections:

•The government of National Unity will be fully inclusive and will offer appropriate representation to all political parties. This includes posts of Ministers and State Secretaries and other political appointments.

•Significant representation in the government will be offered to representatives of the MDP. While it is now necessary to appoint a Cabinet in order to security the uninterrupted functioning of government, spaces will be reserved for MDP representation should participation not be immediately forthcoming from among its membership. Increase in the numbers of ministries may be contemplated to ensure a fully inclusive and balanced Cabinet.

•Appropriate representation of women will be ensured in the Government of National Unity.

•The Government of National Unity will seek to operate with maximum consensus, focusing its efforts on the agreed priority tasks listed below.

IV. Priority Tasks of the Government of National Unity

The Government of National Unity will focus its efforts on a number of priority tasks in the interest of the nation and shall collaborate with other branches of government in order to address the following issues:

•The Government of National Unity remains committed to the advancement of the democratic transformations of the country. It will focus on the completion of important legislative projects, the establishment or enhancement of institutions that were foreseen, and well-run, professional branches of government.

•The government of National Unity will ensure the uninterrupted provision of public services. It will continue to pay special attention to the rights of women and children, and to the needs and interests of the vulnerable, as is required by the constitution.

•The Government of National Unity will establish an independent mechanism to investigate the recent developments, including the circumstances of the transfer of power. This investigation shall also extend to the events leading up to these developments and offer lessons to be learnt for them, including steps that may be taken to prevent instability in the future.

•The Government of National Unity will continue the process of strengthening constitutional governance, including the Judiciary and other independent commission and the judiciary through ensuring the effective functioning of the Judicial Service Commission. The Government of National Unity will establish a national round table to discuss steps that may be taken in support of that work. The U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights in cooperation with other U.N. agencies and the Commonwealth Secretariat are invited to provide support.

•The Government of National Unity will review civilian control, good practice and accountability in the conduct of the police, the military and security services according to international standards of best practice, accountability and human rights.

•The Government of National Unity will ensure full budgetary transparency during the period of its operation and adopt appropriate procedures and practices towards that end.

•The Government of National Unity will actively encourage reconciliation in the country and take additional steps to generate a climate of tolerance, forgiveness and accountability.

•In addition, in the interests of national reconciliation and to encourage harmony between our citizens, the Government of National Unity will hold discussions with all relevant parties to conduct elections by an early date. The Government of National Unity will work towards the conditions that will permit such elections to take place including any necessary constitutional amendments.

February 16, 2012

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