The Republic of Maldives has applied to re-join the Commonwealth. The country’s President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, made the request in a letter to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland earlier this month.
Maldives withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2016, under former President Abdulla Yameen.
“I said when Maldives withdrew from the Commonwealth that I hoped the separation would be temporary,” stated the Secretary-General. “So the decision to seek readmission as a member of the Commonwealth family is encouraging. We very much look forward to engaging with the government and people of Maldives as the application for membership is considered.”
To re-join, Maldives must demonstrate that it complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter through an informal assessment undertaken by the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General must then consult with member countries, and if there is agreement, invite Maldives to make a formal application, presenting evidence of functioning democratic processes and popular support for rejoining the Commonwealth.
The Gambia re-joined the Commonwealth in February, and Zimbabwe applied to re-join the organisation in May.