The government has no intention of extending the state of emergency that is currently in place, any further, the President’s Office has declared.
A press conference was held at the President’s Office Tuesday evening with the several ministers including, the office’s Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shukoor, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer, Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed, Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Education Dr Aishath Shiham, Minister of Health Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim and Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Dr Mohamed Muizzu.
At the press conference, Azima reiterated that the state of emergency is only applicable to those who break the law, and maintained that it would not affect the general public.
She claimed that the current situation in the Maldives is “normal” and that the day-to-day lives of citizens were unaffected by the state of emergency.
“We have no plans to extend the state of emergency. There are 10-days remaining for the state of emergency, as approved by the parliament,” Azima said, adding that the state of emergency would come to an end on March 22.
“You have witnessed Maldives’ state of emergency; no schools were closed, no shops were closed, all the offices are still running, businesses are also running as usual. It did no affect the citizens at all.”
The state of emergency was first declared February 5, just days after the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling ordering the release of nine high-profile political prisoners and annulled its previous decision of parliament floor-crossing and reinstated the 12 lawmakers who were unseated last July.
Immediately after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency, armed forces late at night had stormed the premises of the Supreme Court and arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed, along with the Judicial Services Administrator Hassan Saeed. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom and his son-in-law were also arrested from their home that night.
The initial 15-day state of emergency was later extended by the parliament on February 20, for an additional 30-days in an extraordinary parliament sitting, which the opposition had boycotted.
While the government claims that the lives of ordinary citizens are unaffected by the state of emergency, which would be in place for a total of 45-days, many opposition activists have been arrested, along with some key figures of the opposition leadership. They have been advocating for the enforcement of the Supreme Court’s initial verdict and have deemed the state of emergency to be illegal.