Maldives extends State of Emergency for 30 days

ANI | Updated: Feb 20, 2018 21:30 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb 20 (ANI): Maldives Parliament on Tuesday approved the extension of the State of Emergency by 30 days, a day after President Abdulla Yameen sought the extension citing threat to national security and the constitutional crisis in the country.

The opposition leaders boycotted the session and called the extension illegal and unconstitutional.

Abdulla Riyaz, Deputy Leader of Jumhooree Party said, "Unlawful and unconstitutional! 38 votes while 40 were present. The opposition boycott the session saying unlawful and unconstitutional. If 12 MPs who got suspended to enter would have been allowed we would have failed it".

"We request the United Nations and all international friends to help the people to restore democracy in the Maldives," he added.

Former vice president of The Maldives Mohamed Jameel Ahmed took to Twitter and said, "Parliament's conduct in extending SoE in violation of all legal norms is nothing but killing Constitution. Govt doesn't have the required 43 votes. Yet, Parliament promulgated it under YAG's order. With this, our Republic is dead & YAG assumes unconstitutional role of monarch!"

"Pres Yameen could not get the constitutionally required quorum of 43 for Parliamentary endorsement of the current #StateofEmergency or for the extension of it by 30 days. Today's vote circumvents the constitution; the vote is unconstitutional, illegal and void. #MaldivesInCrisis," tweeted Memeber of Parliament (MP) Abdulla Shahid.

Another MP, Eva Abdulla tweeted, "Pres Yameen does not have the Constitutionally mandated quorum for Parliamentary ratification of the State of Emergency.Speaker just bypassed the Constitution;cited Parliamentary Rules to vote on it. State of Emergency is illegal. All acts invoking State of Emergency invalidated."

On Monday, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Security had voted to extend the State of Emergency by 30 days easing constitutional restrictions, the official release said.

"The extension was submitted by the request of the President due to the present threat to national security and the constitutional crisis posed by the events leading up to and following the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on February 1, 2018. The request by the President for an extension of the State of Emergency was deliberated by the Parliament yesterday," it added.

The Maldives is facing political unrest since President Yameen imposed emergency after refusing to implement a Supreme Court order of freeing imprisoned opposition leaders.

On February 2, the Maldivian Supreme Court acquitted former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ordered the reinstatement of 12 other parliamentary members.

The political unrest in the country deepened further when the police used force to crack down on the Maldivian opposition leaders, who continued to hold anti-government protests. (ANI)