Maldives President lifts state of emergency after 45 days

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Thursday lifted a state of emergency after a period of 45 days.

The declaration of the state of emergency drew concerns among the Maldives opposition and several western countries.

The Maldives President’s office however said that the announcement of the state of emergency was precipitated by a Constitutional crisis created by two Justices of the Supreme Court who allegedly conspired with political actors to violate both the Constitution and standard legal norms and practices in order to illegally overthrow a lawful Government, and whose actions constituted an imminent threat to national security. The State of Emergency was annulled after a period of 45 days.

The Government said that the Maldives Police Service, under the guidance of the Office of the Prosecutor General, has been able to progress substantially into their investigation of corruption and other crimes relating to the Constitutional crisis.

The Prosecutor General issued a statement this week outlining the charges to be filled by her office regarding the submissions by the Maldives Police Service to date.

Following the actions taken under the state of emergency, all constitutionally created independent institutions of horizontal accountability function with their full powers and authority.

“Though there still exists a diminished threat to national security, because the nation can now continue without further losses incurred, and upon the advice of the Security Services and in an effort to promote normalcy, the President has decided to lift the state of emergency,” the President’s office said.

The state of emergency was declared by a Presidential Decree on 5 February 2018. It was extended via a resolution of the Parliament on 20 February 2018 for a period of 30 days, applicable only to those under investigation for crimes relating to the Constitutional crisis. This extension was deemed valid by a decision of the Supreme Court on 26 February 2018.

The opposition however said the state of emergency was illegal. (Colombo Gazette)