‘Troubled’ by Maldives crisis, US urges Yameen to respect rule

Washington: The US today said it was “troubled” and “disappointed” by reports of declaration of state of emergency in Maldives and urged President Abdulla Yameen to comply with the rule of law and implement the Supreme Court ruling.

Yameen yesterday declared a 15-day state of emergency amid a deepening political crisis in the island nation after the Maldivian Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of former president Mohamed Nasheed and other opposition leaders.

The state of emergency will give sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects, bans public gatherings, imposes travel restrictions, and suspends parts of the Maldivian Constitution.

“The US is troubled and disappointed by reports that Maldivian President Yameen has declared a state of emergency,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
She said the president, army, and police failed to obey the Supreme Court ruling, contrary to the Constitution and rule of law.

“The US calls on President Yameen, the army, and police to comply with the rule of law, implement the Supreme Court ruling and the rulings of the criminal court, ensure the full and proper functioning of the Parliament, and restore constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people and institutions of the Maldives,” Nauert said.

She said Yameen despite being elected in 2013 with the support of a broad coalition has systematically alienated his coalition.

He has jailed or exiled every major opposition political figure, deprived elected MPs of their right to represent their voters in the legislature, revised laws to erode human rights, especially freedom of expression, and weakened the institutions of government by firing officials who refuse orders that run contrary to Maldivian law and its Constitution, Nauert said.