India against Maldives emergency extension
New Delhi, Feb 20 : The Maldives Parliament on Tuesday extended the ongoing state of emergency by another month even as India said that it expected that the emergency in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation will not be extended."The state of emergency declared in Maldives on February 5, 2018, comes to an end this evening," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
"It is our expectation that the government of Maldives will not be seeking extension of the state of emergency so that the political process in Maldives can resume with immediate effect," it added even as Maldives Parliament accepted President Abdulla Yameen's request to extend the emergency, which was first declared on February 5.
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 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.
However, the Maldives on Tuesday extended the state of emergency by 30 days after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Security approved the extension on Monday in view of Yameen's request while easing constitutional restrictions.
Only 38 MPs were present for the vote despite the requirement of 43 lawmakers as per the Constitution. All 38 MPs were from the ruling party, the Maldives Independent reported.
The opposition had boycotted the vote to ensure the vote could not take place, but the extension was granted anyway.
The new state of emergency will end on March 22.
Yameen had declared the state of emergency 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 The ruling was rescinded shortly after the announcement of emergency.
According to a statement issued by the Maldivian President's Office on Tuesday, the parliamentary committee also decided that the Articles in the Constitution related to removal of the President or Vice President, vote of no confidence for a member of the cabinet, jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the impeachment of the President, and removal of the Prosecutor General from office "would no longer be restricted" upon the extension of the emergency.