Statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Government of Maldives sends response to the Council of the European Union’s Conclusions on Maldives

Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to the conclusions issued by the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, regarding the Maldives.

The statement reads;

“The Government of Maldives notes the conclusions issued by the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union today”.

“As reiterated in a number of public statements and conveyed to the Ambassador of the European Union to the Maldives, the Government of Maldives remains firmly committed to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. The State of Emergency declared on 5 February 2018 was extended for further thirty days by the Parliament due to the threats posed to national security following the Supreme Court Order No. 2018/SC-SJ/01, issued on 1 February 2018, following which the State found itself facing a Constitutional deadlock. It should be noted that the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018 was nullified, in part, by the Supreme Court by its Court Order no 2018/SC-SJ/03, issued on 6 February 2018. Other parts of it were suspended by its Court Order No 2018/SC-VA-J/01 issued on 18 February 2018. Therefore, there is now no legal mandate to implement the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018”.

“In its decision to extend the State of Emergency on 20 February 2018, the Parliament lifted some of the restrictions imposed on the Constitutional Articles under the State of Emergency and declared the State of Emergency to be applied only to individuals alleged to have carried out illegal activities in connection to the Supreme Court Verdict of 1 February 2018. The measures taken by the Government was to ensure national security and Constitutional order, to uphold the rule of law and to safeguard the peace and stability of the nation. The Government will ensure that the State of Emergency is lifted as soon as the threats posed to national security are addressed satisfactorily”.

“The Government reiterates its unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of foreign nationals residing in the country, as well as tourists visiting the Maldives on vacation”.

“The Government is committed to resolving the current situation and has invited all Political Parties for dialogue. The Government of Maldives appreciates the European Union for standing with the Maldives during this difficult period and calls to help facilitate the ongoing efforts to resolve the current Constitutional Crisis, and to return to normalcy. The Government of Maldives will continue to work with the European Union and its member countries and appreciates the continued support and cooperation that the European Union is continuing to extend in strengthening the electoral, governance and democratic structures and framework”.

“The Government has welcomed the initiative of the Election’s Commission to begin preparations for this year’s Presidential election, and is engaged to ensure a fair and stable environment for the conduct of those elections. The Maldives looks forward to having a free, fair and credible Presidential election in September of this year, and requests the support and guidance of all relevant stakeholders”.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, on 5 February 2018, declared a State of Emergency by Presidential Decree No. 2018/3, under Article 253 of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.

As per the Presidential Decree, the State of Emergency was enforced in order to protect the peace and wellbeing of all citizens, and the country, and to facilitate investigations following the events that unfolded in relation to the Supreme Court Order No. SC-SJ/01/2018, issued on 1 February 2018, which resulted in the disruption of the functions of the executive power and the State institutions vested with specific mandates under the Constitution, the infringement of national security and public interest, and if implemented, would potentially lead to an undermining of the supremacy of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.

Despite the declaration of the state of emergency, there will be no enforcement of a curfew; and general movements, services and businesses will not be affected.

Link to Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement