The opposition has stated that the extension of the state of emergency declared by President Abdulla Yameen on February 5, to an additional 30-days by the parliament, is unconstitutional and should not be abided by.
In an extraordinary sitting held after a delay of two hours Tuesday evening, the presidential decree declaring the extension of the state of emergency was passed unanimously by 38 lawmakers present at the vote. All legislators of opposition parties had boycotted the sitting.
Speaking to reporters after the session, opposition Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared that the parliament’s decision to extend the emergency cannot be considered legitimate as the constitution mandates a specific number of members to be present before a vote can be undertaken for any matter requiring compliance by citizens. Since the required number of members were not present, the decision cannot be accepted as legitimate, he added.
He further said that there was no obligation to comply with the alleged unconstitutional decision.
MP Solih stressed how the Constitution stipulates that after a state of emergency is declared, it should be presented to the parliament for approval within 48 hours.
Further, he noted that since the extension of the emergency was not legitimate, all matters relating to the initial decree would come to a cease.
Speaking to the press, Jumhoory Party’s deputy leader Abdulla Riyaz had also reiterated that the extension of the state of emergency by the parliament was not constitutional, hence security institutes should not comply with it.
“Parliament’s decision cannot be accepted, thus all individuals detained under the state of emergency cannot be kept in custody anymore, if they are to be held the Criminal Procedure Code should be followed.”