MALDIVES - The Maldives government on Monday declared a state of emergency for 15 days, amid a spiralling political crisis in the island nation following a Supreme Court order <link> last week to release Opposition leaders from prison.
“During this time, though certain rights will be restricted, general movements, services and businesses will not be affected. The Government of Maldives also wishes to assure all Maldivians and the international community that the safety of all Maldivians and foreigners living in and visiting the Maldives will be ensured,” said a statement from President Abdulla Yameen’s office.
Maldives security forces broke into the Supreme Court on Monday, court spokesman Faisal Adam told Reuters, hours after Mr. Yameen declared the state of emergency. More power for officials
Sources said the state of emergency gives security officials extra powers to arrest suspects. The development comes five days after the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of nine Opposition leaders, including the exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed. It also ordered that 12 MPs expelled earlier be reinstated.
Eva Abdulla, an MP and member of the Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, said: “The declaration of state of emergency is an indication of Mr. Yameen’s desperation. It only serves to show an isolated man who no longer has the confidence of the people and independent institutions.” Second-such time
This is the second time Mr. Yameen has declared a state of emergency. He last took the step in November 2015 after an alleged attempt to assassinate him.
Officials said the President is required to inform the Parliament about any declaration of emergency within two days, but the country's legislature has been suspended indefinitely by authorities.
The Supreme Court on Thursday had also restored the seats of 12 MPs who had defected from Mr. Yameen's party, effectively handing the opposition a majority in the 85-member parliament, making the President vulnerable to impeachment. - Agencies