Update on the Current Situation in the Maldives (19/02/2018): The Parliament Debates on the Presidential Decree of State of Emergency

 The Parliament sat in a Special Session to table the issue of the State of Emergency mandated in section (a) of Article 257 of the Constitution. Further, the President submitted today a request to the Parliament asking that the State of Emergency announced by Presidential Decree on 5 February 2018 be extended by a period of 30 days, as the threat to national security has not diminished and the Constitutional crisis has not been resolved, a continued period of Emergency was advised by the National Security Council.

The Government notes with disappointment that the opposition Members of the Parliament opted to sit out of the Chambers and to disengage themselves from this debate of national significance. The Government notes that the disengagement of the opposition Members of the Parliament on deciding the issue of the State of Emergency will cripple the Parliament’s ability to decide this issue. Further, the Government notes with concern that these actions will further deepen the current Constitutional crisis.

The Government calls upon all Members of the Parliament to act responsibly as stated in Article 75 of the Constitution, that Members of Parliament;

“should be guided in their actions by considerations of national interest and public welfare foremost, and should not exploit their official positions in any way for their own benefit or for the benefit of those with whom they have special relations. They shall represent not only their constituencies but the country as a whole,’’

and to act on their obligation to enable the Legislature to execute their Constitutional Mandate on the issue of the State of Emergency.

Given the serious nature of this request, those present and voting unanimously chose to forward the issue to Parliament’s National Security Committee for further deliberation.

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 welfare of all citizens and the country, following the events that unfolded in relation to the Supreme Court Order No. 2018/SC-SJ/01, issued on 1 February 2018; which has 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, which 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.