Saturday 24 August 2019

Maldives president revokes state of emergency

The Maldives has lifted the state of emergency
The Maldives has lifted the state of emergency

The president of the Maldives has revoked a state of emergency after less than a week, following widespread international condemnation and concerns about its impact on the country's tourism industry.

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom declared the state of emergency last Wednesday, citing a security threat following a blast on his speedboat in September and the subsequent recovery of weapons and a home-made bomb near his official residence.

The declaration was widely condemned for suspending basic citizens' rights and giving the military and police power to search and arrest almost at will.

Under the emergency regulations, police were allowed to enter and search homes without a warrant, and the rights to assemble peacefully and travel between the many islands of the archipelago nation were suspended.

Maldives politicians voted Vice President Ahmed Adeeb out of office using the regulations. Authorities suspect that Mr Adeeb was behind the alleged attempts on Mr Gayoom's life, and he has been arrested.

Mr Gayoom was not hurt in the blast on September 28, but his wife, an aide and a bodyguard were injured.

Attorney General Mohamed Anil said the president decided to revoke the state of emergency because investigations into the blast and the recovery of weapons and explosives have made good progress.

He also said Mr Gayoom had heeded international calls for the declaration to be lifted and wanted to reduce any impact the emergency may have had on tourism.

The Maldives is best known for its luxury tourist resorts. It is not clear how much of an impact the state of emergency has had on the industry.

The South Asian country has had a difficult transition to democracy since holding its first multiparty election in 2008.

PA Media

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