President Yameen lifts emergency | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:47 AM, March 23, 2018


President Yameen lifts emergency

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen lifted a 45-day state of emergency yesterday, a day after senior political opponents were locked up indefinitely for allegedly trying to topple him last month.

Yameen chose not to extend the draconian laws he had invoked on February 5 following a Supreme Court ruling that threatened to lead to his impeachment.

"Though there still exists a diminished threat to national security... in an effort to promote normalcy, the president has decided to lift the state of emergency," Yameen's office said in a statement.

He initially declared the state of emergency for 15 days after the country's top court ordered him to free high-profile dissidents from jail.

It was later extended for another 30 days, deepening the political crisis in the Indian Ocean archipelago of 340,000 Sunni Muslims.

The dissidents' release would have paved the way for former leader Mohamed Nasheed to return from self-imposed exile in London and contest presidential elections later this year.

Yameen refused to carry out the court order and instead invoked the emergency which curtailed the powers of the judiciary and the legislature.

He also arrested the chief justice and another Supreme Court judge.

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