Maldives strongly criticises India
Update 23 February 2018
India, yesterday, criticised the extension of emergency as a disturbing development, and that it was in contravention with its constitution. There was no valid reason for such an extension. It also called for the release of Chief Justice and other political prisoners.
Maldives responded to the Indian government’s criticism with a strongly worded statement, “The Government of Maldives takes note of the public statements issued by the Government of India that ignore the facts and ground realities with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives”.
Pakistan has used the Maldives as an outpost for its spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for years now. Some analysts believe that the pro-Pakistan and ostensibly anti-India posture of the Yameen regime has given rise to serious concerns to India that Maldives could become the hotspot for Pakistani terror organisations, which may carry out 26/11-type terror attacks against India.
The website of the Maldives Mission to the UN has been hacked. The hacking does not appear have any connection with the ongoing turmoil in the island nation. The hackers did not leave any political message.
Election Commission of Maldives has announced the first round of Presidential elections in early September. It was welcomed by the Yameen government. This proposed election will not be a free and fair as the opposition leader has been debarred from contesting the election and all main opposition leaders are either in jail or exile.
22 February 2018
The prosecutor general, Aishath Bisham, had told police in a letter the state of emergency was unconstitutional. Vote was unconstitutional and as a result the state of emergency was also unconstitutional, two senior officials of the Prosecutor General’s office told Reuters.
She said that there was legal basis for keeping those arrested under the state of emergency rules. She did not ask the police to release them.
The way the parliament approved the emergency and its extension was not according to the constitution. There were only 39 members in the chamber when the approval and extension of emergency rule was passed. Article 87 (b) of the Constitution requires at least 43 members to be present to vote on a motion that requires compliance by citizens. Please see Maldives: Emergency extended .
According to the constitution, the prosecutor general has the authority to oversee the legality of investigations and to monitor the circumstances under which any person is arrested.
Bisham’s letter to the police surfaced hours before President Abdulla Yameen delivered the presidential address to the parliament. There were Tweets claiming that Attorney General Mohamed Anil also concurred with Bisham’s views. Anil was seen at the ceremonial presidential address but not Bisham.
Supreme Court(SC) issued a temporary order calling to enforce the parliament’s decision to extend the state of emergency by 30 days, until it officially gives its referrals, as per Article 95 of the Constitution. Where are we now? Is the temporary order given by the SC, ratifying an unconstitutional motion, constitutional? Yes, in some ways, because SC is the final authority in interpreting the constitution and deciding whether an issue is constitutional or not. Those who are not Maldivians will find it difficult to comprehend all these.
United Nations: 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. “He offered to the President (Yameen) UN mediation, but the President conveyed that mediation was not wanted at this stage,” Haq said on Wednesday. Indian media firstpost.com said.
Fisheries minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee refuted allegations that the Maldivian government was opposed to the United Nations mediation. He told Mihaaru that President Yameen himself had requested the UN’s assistance for the discussions, to which the organization has agreed. He added that the opposition’s pre-conditions have become a major obstacle to any negotiations.
Maldives figured as one of ‘worst regional offenders’ in corruption, in Transparency International’s (Corruption Perception Index) findings. Maldives, along with Algeria, Bolivia, El Salvador and Niger, ranked 112 out of the 180 nations that Transparency International ranks annually.