India deeply dismayed by Maldives emergency extension

Updated on : Feb 21,2018   5:06 pm

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) India on Wednesday expressed deep dismay at the Maldives Parliament extending the state of emergency in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation by 30 days.

"We are deeply dismayed that the government of Maldives has extended the state of emergency for a further 30 days," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

"The manner in which the extension of the state of emergency was approved by the Majlis in contravention of the Constitution of Maldives is also a matter of concern," it stated.

It said that the consequent delay in the resumption of the political process and the continuing suspension of the functioning of democratic institutions including the judiciary "is likely to further delay restoration of normalcy in Maldives".

"It is important to ensure that all democratic institutions are allowed to function in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution," the statement said.

According to one of the two statements issued late on Tuesday by Maldives President Abdulla Yameen's office, the country's Parliament approved "to extend the state of emergency by an additional 30 days in so far as it shall only apply to those alleged to have carried out illegal activities - it shall not apply to otherwise law abiding residents of, or visitors to the Maldives".

This comes even as India said earlier on Tuesday that it expected the emergency not to be extended and 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.

However, the Maldives Parliament 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.

The new state of emergency will end on March 22.

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.

The Maldives plunged into a crisis with President Yameen declaring a 15-day emergency and arresting the Chief Justice and a former head of state after the Supreme Court at the beginning of this month termed as unjust the imprisonment of nine MPs and former President Mohammed Nasheed.

Yameen sent special envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia even as New Delhi politely declined to host the Maldivian Foreign Minister.

Nasheed, meanwhile, requested India's intervention to end the crisis in his country.

--IANS

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