The UK is providing financial support for Commonwealth efforts to improve the Maldivian legislative electoral framework. Free, fair and credible elections are a crucial element of democratic reform in the Maldives. My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, emphasised this point to Dr. Mohamad Asim, the Maldivian high commissioner in March. He also pointed out that the freedom of politicians and political parties to be able to campaign and debate freely was a cornerstone of democracy.