Maldivian political chaos: 45 days of emergency that shook the island nation 

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 26, 2018, 10:20 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( WION )

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The state of emergency in the island nation went on for over a month, precisely for 45 days, until Yameen finally lifted the restriction on March 22. 

The island nation Maldives plunged into chaos after former president Abdulla Yameen declared an emergency earlier this year.

On February 5, Yameen imposed a 15-day-long emergency after a Supreme Court ruling quashed convictions against nine opposition leaders.

During the restrictions, Yameen’s administration arrested former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the chief justice, another Supreme Court judge and a Supreme Court administrator on charges of trying to overthrow the government, news agency Reuters reported. 

The Supreme court went on to reverse its decision to quash the convictions of the opposition leaders.

The state of emergency in the island nation went on for over a month, precisely for 45 days, until Yameen finally lifted the restriction on March 22. 

Rights group Amnesty International had said the Maldivian government was using the emergency “as a licence for repression, targeting members of civil society, judges and political opponents”.

Since then, Yameen’s ruling coalition enacted laws without a required quorum in parliament, approved by the Supreme Court after its chief justice was arrested in February for alleged corruption under emergency regulations.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in August called for greater democracy and the restoration of an independent judiciary in the Maldives.

A report by a European think tank, described the political situation in the Maldives under Yameen as "worse than had been previously understood and continues to deteriorate."

A number of electoral laws were amended by the government, with only 34 out of the 85 Members of Parliament voting for the passing of the amendments, making it unconstitutional, the report added.

In June, the Maldivian Opposition parties agreed to field a joint candidate for the presidential elections that were held in September. 

Former president Mohamed Nasheed, who was in exile, announced that he won't contest the presidential polls. Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) parliamentary leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was named as the common candidate for the general elections. 

After polls were conducted on September 23, results released by the electoral commission showed Yameen on 41.7 per cent of the vote, well behind MDP's Solih on 58.3 per cent -- the only other name on ballot papers. 

Yameen called for nationwide protests over alleged vote rigging but later conceded defeated. 

“Maldivian people have decided what they want. I have accepted the results. I met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who the Maldivian electorate has chosen to be their next president. I have congratulated him,” Yameen said in a televised press conference.

"I did everything I had to do on behalf of the majority of Maldivians or in the interests of the nation. So, even today, I won't say I regret it," Yameen added.

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in November, was sworn in as the new Maldivian president. 

Veteran lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih overcame the detention and exile of key opposition figures to win this year's presidential poll and unseat incumbent Abdulla Yameen, but he must now keep together a coalition that includes two fierce rivals, Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed, both former presidents.

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