Expect Maldives won't extend Emergency beyond today

Maldives-Feb-16-Protests-940x580

After gaining independence in 1965, and struggling to make a transition from autocratic rule to democracy, the Maldives has experienced political upheaval, in addition to facing environmental challenges caused by climate change.

The Maldives' parliamentary committee on national security, on a request of President Abdulla Yameen, passed a resolution on Monday extending the ongoing state of Emergency by an additional 15 days.

The new state of Emergency will end on March 22. Opposition lawmakers boycotted the "special" sitting, saying it was held unlawfully.

Maldives' Parliament is expected to meet on Tuesday in the turbulent island nation, where Yameen wants to extend by a month sweeping emergency powers that have provoked censure from the worldwide community. At least 43 MPs need to be present at the Majlis chamber is order for the decree to pass, the report said.

It added that once normalcy returns, institutions like the judiciary "should be allowed to function independently and in a fair and transparent manner".

The Maldivian capital remained tense for the last two weeks as opposition leaders across were being rounded up and placed under detention as Yameen, who has been refusing to obey SC's orders directing him to release nine prominent leaders from prison, gave sweeping powers to the security forces. He also showed reporters a police statement which said a bag containing US$215,000 and 150,000 rufiyaa (US$9,700) belonging to one Supreme Court judge had been found, and that US$2.4 million had been separately wired to the judge by a private firm.

Mr Yameen ordered the country's chief justice and another Supreme Court judge arrested on allegations of bribery.

The Maldivian president declared a 15-day state of emergency on February 5, after a surprise Supreme Court ruling ordering the release of nine opposition leaders including self-exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed. The court said his 2015 trial had been unconstitutional.

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