President Lifts State of Emergency in the Maldives

March 22, 2018

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom today lifted the State of Emergency under the powers granted to him by the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives. The announcement of a State of Emergency was precipitated by a Constitutional Crisis created by two Justices of the Supreme Court who conspired with political actors to violate both the Constitution and standard legal norms and practices in order to illegally overthrow a lawful Government, and whose actions constituted an imminent threat to national security. The State of Emergency was annulled after a period of 45 days.

The Maldives Police Service, under the guidance of the Office of the Prosecutor General, has been able to progress substantially into their investigation of corruption and other crimes relating to the Constitutional Crisis. The Prosecutor General issued a statement on 20 March 2018 outlining the charges to be filled by her Office regarding the submissions by the Maldives Police Service to date.

Following the actions taken under the State of Emergency, all constitutionally created independent institutions of horizontal accountability function with their full powers and authority. The three branches of the State remain independent and the checks and balances enshrined the Constitution are safeguarded. Though there still exists a diminished threat to national security, because the nation can now continue without further losses incurred, and upon the advice of the Security Services and in an effort to promote normalcy, the President has decided to lift the State of Emergency.

The State of Emergency was declared by a Presidential Decree (No. 2018/3) issued on 5 February 2018 for national security reasons. It was extended via a resolution of the Parliament on 20 February 2018 for a period of 30 days, applicable only to those under investigation for crimes relating to the Constitutional Crisis. This extension was deemed valid by a decision of the Supreme Court on 26 February 2018.