Maldives President faces opposition to extend emergency

The Maldives Parliament on Monday sat in a Special Session to table the issue of the State of Emergency mandated in section (a) of Article 257 of the Constitution.

Maldives President Yameen Abdul Gayoom submitted a request to the Parliament asking that the State of Emergency announced by Presidential Decree on 5 February 2018 be extended by a period of 30 days, as the threat to national security has not diminished and the Constitutional crisis has not been resolved, a continued period of Emergency was advised by the National Security Council.

The Government however, in a statement, noted with disappointment that the opposition Members of the Parliament opted to sit out of the Chambers and to disengage themselves from this debate of national significance.

The Maldives Government noted that the disengagement of the opposition Members of the Parliament on deciding the issue of the State of Emergency will cripple the Parliament’s ability to decide this issue. Further, the Government notes with concern that these actions will further deepen the current Constitutional crisis.

The Government called upon all Members of the Parliament to act responsibly as stated in Article 75 of the Constitution, that Members of Parliament should be guided in their actions by considerations of national interest and public welfare foremost, and should not exploit their official positions in any way for their own benefit or for the benefit of those with whom they have special relations. They shall represent not only their constituencies but the country as a whole and act on their obligation to enable the Legislature to execute their Constitutional Mandate on the issue of the State of Emergency.

Given the serious nature of this request, those present and voting unanimously chose to forward the issue to Parliament’s National Security Committee for further deliberation. (Colombo Gazette)