Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Maldives emergency setback to India

Maldives emergency setback to India

Last Monday, former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested by the security forces after Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country. Gayoom, now an opposition leader, is allied with exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed, who unseated him in the 2008 elections.

During an extraordinary meeting of the The National Security Committee of the People's Majlis, approval was given to the Decree for the State of Emergency submitted to the People's Majlis (Parliament) by President Yameen, the Sun online reported.

However, according to sources, the government now wants to revise the committee's decision which can only be seen as a new tactic to delay the vote on the state of emergency extension.

The opposition boycotted the vote. The Maldives has been under a state of emergency since 5 February.

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Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Nasheed said the government can't extend the state of emergency legally, because it does not have the 43 legislators in the Majlis (Parliament) that must vote in favour of it. We are asking citizens, we are compelling them to let the state suspend and restrict their fundamental rights for more than a month. But it is not clear if they voted or abstained, ' he said. "All acts undertaken with emergency powers are illegal", opposition lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih told reporters.

Shahinda Ismail, executive director of Maldives Democracy Network said the ruling party has effectively and completely removed all democratic and lawful systems of governance. Later, the remaining three judges annulled the order to release Yameen's opponents.

But Yameen's repeated flouting of every known democratic rule has led India to now push for democracy in the island country, the absence of which is not only creating a repeated political crisis but also giving an opening to powers like China to gain a bigger foothold.

Meanwhile, India today said it expects that in Maldives there will by no extension of emergency upon its expiry, asserting that it was important that the island nation quickly returns to the path of democracy and the rule of law.

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"After the revocation of the emergency, democratic institutions including the judiciary should be allowed to function independently and in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the constitution", the statement said also calling for the release of Yameen's rivals.

His statement assumed significance as it came two days after India's ambassador to the Maldives, Akhilesh Mishra, met the Maldivian foreign secretary, Ahmed Sareer.

The minister said that upholding the rule of law was the Maldivian governments biggest priority.

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