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India urges Maldives to enforce top court's initial verdict

Farah Ahmed
20 February 2018, MVT 19:16
Police special operations forces outside the house of parliament: MNDF forces were also outside the parliament with increased security ahead of the extraordinary parliamentary sitting held on February 19, 2018 to decide on the status of the state of emergency that was declared on February 5, 2018. MIHAARU PHOTO / HUSSEN WAHEED
Farah Ahmed
20 February 2018, MVT 19:16

The Maldives’ neighbour India Tuesday evening released a stern statement, urging the government to enforce the Supreme Court order issued on February 1, “in letter and spirit.”

In the statement issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, India had called the Maldivian government not to extend the state of emergency “so that the political process in Maldives can resume with immediate effect.”

“After revocation of the emergency, democratic institutions including the judiciary should be allowed to function independently and in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution.”

The statement also highlighted the importance of returning to the path of democracy and rule of law so that the aspirations of Maldivian people will be met, as well as the concerns of the international community are assuaged.

The landmark ruling on February 1 ordered the release of nine high-profile political prisoners, reinstated 12 unseated parliamentarians and annulled its earlier ruling on floor-crossing.

While the Indian government called Maldivian authorities to implement the Supreme Court’s ruling, after a state of emergency was declared on February 5 and two top court Justices were arrested, the remaining three judges had overturned its decision to free the political prisoners on the same day. The judges then ordered a stay on reinstating the expelled opposition parliamentarians.

Despite the urging from opposition parties and international bodies, the parliament on Tuesday passed to extend the state of emergency by 30 more days.

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