The Maldives Foreign Ministry on Thursday rebuked the Indian government for stating that the Maldivian Parliament’s extension of the state of emergency was unconstitutional. It said India’s assertion was a “clear distortion of facts, which ignore the Constitution and laws of the Maldives”.
The foreign ministry’s press release said that the Maldivian Supreme Court had cleared the validity of the emergency on Wednesday. The ministry said that the Maldives Parliament had merely implemented President Abdulla Yameen’s decree of emergency. It added that there was “no other restriction on the daily lives of the people and the Parliament’s action provides protection to citizens, foreign workers and visitors”.
“There is no doubt that the Maldives is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in the history of the nation,” the statement added. “It is therefore important that friends and partners in the international community, including India, refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation facing the country.”
However, Maldivian Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham said on Wednesday that the state of emergency is no longer valid, and that the Parliament vote extending it was illegal, local daily Mihaaru reported. The daily said that Bisham wrote to the police in a personal capacity on Tuesday saying that the emergency was now invalid.
On Tuesday, the Maldivian Parliament approved Yameen’s proposal to extend the state of emergency in the country by 30 days. Yameen had said national security was still under threat and the constitutional crisis had not been resolved.
The United States also said it was disappointed at the development. The Department of State reiterated its call to Yameen to end the state of emergency and uphold the rule of law. Yameen had first imposed the state of emergency in the island nation on February 5.