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India calls for restoration of democracy in Maldives, hopes for end of emergency today

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen earlier on Monday requested the Parliament to extend the emergency, which was first declared on February 5 for 15 days.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: February 20, 2018 17:19 IST ]
The Maldives plunged into a crisis with President Abdulla
Image Source : PTI The Maldives plunged into a crisis with President Abdulla Yameen declaring a 15-day Emergency and arresting the Chief Justice and a former head of state.

India on Tuesday expressed hope that the state of emergency in the crisis-stricken Maldives will not be extended. The statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, however, came a day after Maldives' parliamentary committee on national security passed a resolution to extend the ongoing state of emergency by an additional 15 days.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen earlier on Monday requested the Parliament to extend the emergency, which was first declared on February 5 for 15 days. 

"The state of emergency declared in the Maldives on February 5, 2018, comes to an end this evening," the MEA said in a statement. 

"It is our expectation that the government of Maldives will not be seeking an extension of the state of emergency so that the political process in the Maldives can resume with immediate effect," it stated. 

Stating that 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, it said the order issued by the Supreme Court of Maldives on February 1 should be implemented in letter and spirit. 

"It is important that the Maldives quickly returns to the path of democracy and the rule of law so that the aspirations of Maldivian people are met and the concerns of the international community are assuaged," the statement said.

India's call for peace in the Maldives comes hours after SAARC parliamentary body appealed for restoration of democracy in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation. 

Chairman of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians has appealed to the Speaker of the Majlis (Parliament) in the Maldives to immediately take steps to restore normalcy and respect for the rule of law in the country.

In his letter to Speaker of Majlis, Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, Chairman of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Karu Jayasuriya has called for "finding peaceful solutions through dialogue."

Jayasuriya wrote, "We therefore, urge you, Excellency, as the Speaker of the People's Majlis to prevail upon the relevant authorities in the Maldives including all parties concerned to find peaceful solutions through dialogue that would ensure a functioning Majlis, where elected Members are able to fulfil their constitutional duties and reassure the people of the Maldives that elections will be free and fair and that fundamental freedoms, democracy, security, stability and prosperity will be guaranteed."

Criticising the current development, including the declaration of the emergency by President Yameen, Jayasuriya, added, "the recent events impact negatively on credible and inclusive pre-elections processes with the full participation of all parties in the Maldives."

The Maldives is reeling under a political crisis. Yameen had declared the state of emergency soon after the Supreme Court issued an order on February 1 to release nine high-profile political prisoners, including exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed and reinstate unseated legislators. 

The ruling was, however, rescinded shortly after the announcement of Emergency. 

The Maldives plunged into a crisis with President Abdulla Yameen declaring a 15-day Emergency and arresting the Chief Justice and a former head of state after the Supreme Court termed as unjust the imprisonment of nine MPs and former President Mohammed Nasheed.

Yameen sent special envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia even as New Delhi politely declined to host the Maldivian Foreign Minister.

Nasheed, meanwhile, requested for India's intervention to end the crisis in his country.

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