Maldives warns India against interfering as ties fray

The Maldives is facing political unrest since President Yameen imposed emergency after refusing to implement a Supreme Court order of freeing imprisoned opposition leaders

Asked about Maldives extending the state of emergency that was set to expire Wednesday for another 30 days, he said: "The Secretary-General is following the situation in the Maldives closely and with concern".

The Government of Maldives said the declaration of Emergency was backed by Article 253 of the Constitution, which empowers the President of the nation to protect national security with suspension of democracy.

India also expressed its dismay over the Maldives government extending emergency for a further period of 30 days. "We do not see any valid reason for extension of the State of Emergency".

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has turned down UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' offer to mediate between him and the opposition in the ongoing political crisis, Guterres's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said.

"There is no doubt that the Maldives is experiencing one of the most hard periods in the history of the nation".

He also urged Maldives government to release the Chief Justice and a Supreme Court judge, political prisoners, and restore democracy.

"The Government of the Maldives extends its invitation to all global stakeholders to observe the electoral process; and at the same time urges the worldwide community to provide support and assistance in bringing back normalcy in the Maldives, and requests the global community to refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation the country is facing", the President's Office added. "Because from the start the government has been looking to work closely with the worldwide community", the fisheries minister Shainee stressed.

Yameen imposed a state of emergency on February 5 for 15 days to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed convictions against nine opposition leaders and ordered his government to free those held in prison.

President Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ruling, which was, however, rescinded shortly after the declaration of the state of emergency.

The approved resolution on the state of emergency reinstated some of the Articles of the Constitution which were initially suspended when the president declared the emergency on February 5.



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