Need more effort to restore people’s faith in independent institutions: AG

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives – Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath stated that significant efforts were needed in order to regain people’s confidence towards independent institutions.

Noting that 13 years have passed since Maldives’ constitution was ratified, the Attorney General (AG) stated that the charter “envisages accountability and separation of powers through the creation of independent institutions”.

Adding to the above, AG Riffath declared his belief that greater efforts would still be needed if the administration wished to store the public’s trust that these institutions would be transparent and impartial, iterating that they are an integral part of the democratic process.

AG Riffath’s statement comes at a time when a number of public voices have raised serious concerns regarding the performance of the country’s independent institutions with many stating to have lost their confidence entirely.

Transparency Maldives’ (TM) 2015 survey titled ‘Democracy at the Crossroads’, highlighted a crisis of public confidence in key democratic institutions.

For instance, it found that there was a major decrease in confidence levels with regards to the Elections Commission, evidenced by a drop of 17 percentage points compared to rankings recorded in 2013. As many as thirty-five percent of respondents said they have no confidence in the Human Rights Commission of Maldives. However, courts ranked highest with fifty-one percent stating they have no confidence at all in the courts, compared to forty-six percent in the 2013 Survey.

In response to the above findings, Advocacy and Communications Manager Aiman Rasheed said, “Democratic institutions must take extraordinary measures to regain the trust of the public and the public must step up to hold public officials to account”.

“Levels of confidence in institutions is a key indicator of the levels of corruption in a system”, he added.

Till date, many continue to question the integrity of such institutions.