Male, Feb 20 (newsin.asia) – Maldives Parliament, on Tuesday, voted in favour to extend the State of Emergency by a further 30 days following a request by made by President Abdulla Yameen, local media reported.
The crucial vote was taken up in Parliament on Tuesday evening amidst the presence of 40 legislators in the 85 member Parliament.
38 MPs voted in favour of the motion. The State of Emergency will now end on March 22.
At the start of Tuesday’s special proceedings, Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh said MPs could have an hour to debate the national security committee’s report on extending the state of emergency.
Speaker Maseeh further said that an attendance of a minimum 43 MPs was not needed for the vote as according to the constitution, the compliance of citizens was not needed to extend the state of emergency.
According to a legal expert in the Maldives, Parliament decided that the motion can be passed with a simple majority of those present and voting, in reference to parliamentary procedures etc and determining that this is not an issue which requires a majority of the entire Parliament.
“The Parliament also passed a motion to seek clarification from the Supreme Court on the issue of the number of votes required in this case as some parliamentarians have raised questions,” the legal expert said.
Opposition lawmaker however said the state of emergency was illegal as a minimum 43 legislators were required, under the Maldivian constitution to take up a vote.
Opposition lawmakers accused the ruling party for ‘completely removing all democratic and lawful systems of governance in the country.’
President Yameen’s Office in a statement on Monday said the President had requested Parliament to extend the State of Emergency by 30 days due to the present threat to national security and the constitutional crisis posed by the events leading up to and following the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on Feb 1 ruling the release of detained opposition leaders.
Opposition legislators had boycotted Parliamentary sessions on Monday when the matter was taken up which led to those present forwarding the issue to Parliament’s National Security Committee for further deliberation.
The Committee passed the decree to extend the State of Emergency and decided that under the Emergency, the removal of the President or Vice President, vote of no confidence for a Member of the Cabinet, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the Impeachment of the President and the removal of the Prosecutor General from office would no longer be restricted.
The Supreme Court ruling was, however, rescinded shortly after the declaration of the state of emergency.