Male, February 18 (newsin.asia): All indications are that the Maldivian parliament which will be meeting for a Special Session here on Monday to decide whether the 15-day State of Emergency which was declared on February 5 should continue or not, will vote in favor of its continuance.
In preparation for this, the Attorney General appealed to the Supreme Court and got an order to suspend the reinstatement of 12 ruling party MPs who had earlier been stripped of their seats for signing an opposition petition for the removal of the Speaker.
In a further indication of the continuation of the Emergency, the Supreme Court on Sunday threw out a petition against the Emergency filed by Yumna Gayoom, daughter of jailed former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day State of Emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine top opposition leaders from prison and the reinstatement of 12 ruling party MPs who had been unseated for signing an opposition motion of No-Confidence against the Speaker of parliament.
Yameen said that he was forced to declare a State of Emergency to investigate a plot to overthrow the government by bribing Supreme Court judges to pass suitable orders.
On Sunday night the Supreme Court was asked by Attorney General Mohamed Anil to hold off on giving the MPs their seats back. The court issued a favorable order.
But the opposition protested. “Can’t and won’t do a single thing within the confines of the law,” fumed opposition spokesman and MP Ahmed Mahloof.
“Passing orders after arresting two judges and threatening the remaining three when realizing will get beat big time tomorrow. If all members were allowed, 50 votes are certain,” Mahloof tweeted, signing off with #BigCoward at the end of the tweet.
Supreme Court Says Emergency Declaration Was Constitutional
The Supreme Court on Sunday threw out the case seeking to annul the Presidential Decree declaring the ongoing state of emergency in the Maldives.
In the court’s ruling stated that there are no constitutional grounds to deem that the Presidential decree was in violation of Articles 253 and 254 of the Maldivian Constitution.
The court highlighted that the decree stated that the National Security Committee had raised concerns of possible threat to the country’s security, and advised the President to take immediate action by declaring a State of Emergency.
The verdict noted that as Article 253 accords the president authority to announce a State of Emergency “in the event of natural disaster, dangerous epidemic disease, war, threat to national security, or threatened foreign aggression”.
The decree was in line with the Constitution, the court ruled.
Stating that the measures specified in the article were not “restrictive”, the verdict said that the president is thus accorded the power to take whatever action necessary to protect and secure the functioning of the nation.
A crackdown followed the declaration of the State of Emergency, which saw the arrests of former President Maumoon, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed, along with a number of others. They are accused of giving and taking bribes to stage a coup via the authority of the top court.
(The featured picture at the top shows the Maldivian Supreme Court)