WASHINGTON – The United States urged Maldives on Wednesday to end a state of emergency that has been in place in the country since the beginning of February.
The US was disappointed with President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s decision on Tuesday to extend the state of emergency – that was imposed on Feb. 5 – for another 30 days, the Department of State said in a statement.
The US also urged Gayoom to “uphold the rule of law, permit full and proper functioning of the Parliament and the judiciary, restore constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people of Maldives,” and respect his country’s commitment to international human rights obligations.
Maldives has been steeped in deep political and institutional crisis following a Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 1 that had ordered the retrial and immediate release of nine opposition leaders, as well as the reinstatement of 12 opposition lawmakers.
Gayoom’s government had initially said it would abide by the order, but subsequently rejected it and declared a state of emergency, claiming it had thwarted a coup attempt by former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, both of whom are in custody at the moment.