India on Thursday welcomed the Maldives’ decision to revoke the state of emergency earlier today. In a statement to the media, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “While this is one step towards addressing the issues related to the prevailing political situation in that country, a number of concerns expressed by the international community still remain to be addressed.”
The MEA also called upon the Maldives government to restore all Articles of the Constitution. “We call upon Government of Maldives to restore all Articles of the Constitution, to allow the Supreme Court and other branches of the judiciary to operate in full independence, to promote and support the free and proper functioning of Parliament,” the statement further read. READ: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom lifts the State of Emergency after 45 days
India’s statement comes hours after President Abdulla Yameen lifted a 45-day state of emergency today, a day after senior political opponents were locked up indefinitely for allegedly trying to topple him last month. A statement from his office read: “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.” READ: Maldives’ ex-dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, top justice to be held through trial
Yameen had initially declared the state of emergency for 15 days after the country’s top court ordered him to free high-profile dissidents from jail. However, it was extended for another 30 days, deepening the political crisis in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Abdulla Yameen refused to carry out the Supreme Court order and invoked the emergency which curtailed the powers of the judiciary and the legislature. He also arrested the chief justice and another Supreme Court judge. Yameen came to power following a controversial election run-off in November 2013 when he narrowly defeated Nasheed. His crackdown has dented the nation’s image as a popular tourist destination, which remains vital to its economy.