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Maldives lifts 45-day state of emergency

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's office said he lifted the emergency today on the advice of the security service to promote normalcy in the country.

Reported by: PTI, Colombo [ Published on: March 22, 2018 20:13 IST ]
President Yameen Abdul Gayoom
President Yameen Abdul Gayoom

The president of the Maldives has lifted a 45-day state of emergency he declared last month during political turmoil in the archipelago nation. 

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's office said he lifted the emergency today on the advice of the security service to promote normalcy in the country. 

The emergency was declared amid turmoil that followed a court order to release and retry some of Yemeen's political opponents. They were imprisoned after trials that were criticized for alleged violations of due process. 

The president's half brother and former dictator, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Justice Ali Hemeed and four lawmakers were arrested during the emergency and accused of conspiring to overthrow the government. 

Maldives became a multiparty democracy in 2008.(AP

'Welcomes revocation of emergency but many concerns still remain'

India today welcomed the revocation of Emergency in Maldives as "one step" towards addressing issues related to the prevailing situation there but asserted that a "number of concerns" remained to be addressed by the island nation.

The External Affairs Ministry also maintained that it was important for Maldives to ensure credible restoration of the political process, as well as the rule of law, before the elections are announced this year.

"We welcome the revocation of the State of Emergency in the Maldives. While this is one step towards addressing the issues related to the prevailing political situation in that country, a number of concerns expressed by the international community still remain to be addressed," the ministry said.

It added: "We, therefore, call upon the Government of the Maldives to restore all Articles of the Constitution to allow the Supreme Court and other branches of the judiciary to operate in full independence, to promote and support the free and proper functioning of Parliament, to implement the Supreme Court's Full Bench order of 1 February 2018 and to support a genuine political dialogue with all opposition parties."

As a neighbour whose security is closely intertwined with that of the Maldives, India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives that meets the aspiration of its citizens, the MEA asserted.

Announcing the lifting of Emergency, a statement from Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen's office read, "Though there still exists a diminished threat to national security... in an effort to promote normalcy, the president has decided to lift the state of emergency."

He initially declared the state of emergency for 15 days after the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of opposition leaders, including exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed. The court had said his 2015 trial had been unconstitutional.

It was later extended for another 30 days, deepening the political crisis in the island nation.

India along with other countries were very critical of  the Yameen government's decisions.

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