Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has called on everyone to advance public interest through democratic principles.

The Vice President made this statement in an address to the press on the occasion of International Day of Democracy.

Dr Waheed said democracy was not a ‘spectator sport’ but that it is a ‘path’ to be trodden by all citizens. He said it was important for everyone’s interest to have mutual respect and civility amongst the citizens.

The Vice President said strengthening multiparty system was a prerequisite for consolidating democracy.

He added it was time to reflect on the challenges faced by political parties.

He also spoke on the importance of a free media in a democracy.

Speaking on the justice system, Dr Waheed said the democratic rights stipulated in the Constitution could only be provided with the establishment of independent judicial institutions.

Dr Waheed noted that the People’s Majlis played one of the most important roles in strengthening democracy. He said that amending laws in accordance with the Constitution was a huge task towards establishing democratic good governance. He also appealed to political parties to put forward national interest and to set aside short term political gains while making legislation.

Vice President Waheed said the goal of unseating the previous regime was not changing ‘faces’, but establishing a people’s government and to effect a better socio-economic system.

He concluded his statement by saying that the Maldives would not relapse into an autocracy.
“We will not accept autocratic rule. We will not govern in a manner where the people are excluded,” said Dr Waheed.