Maldives President Declares State Of Emergency As Crisis Worsens

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has declared an emergency to fight a court ruling freeing Yameen's political opponents from jail.
Posted at 1:45 PM, Feb 06, 2018

The Maldives is in political turmoil, and the country's president has declared a 15-day state of emergency giving him more power to detain people.

The crisis stems from a ruling by the country's Supreme Court that ordered the release and retrial of some opposition party members. The court also ordered 12 lawmakers to be reinstated to the country's parliament, saying they were unconstitutionally removed after defecting to the opposition party.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen rejected that ruling. Instead, he sent security forces to arrest at least two members of the court. The country's former leader — Yameen's half-brother — was reportedly also arrested.

The Maldives is primarily known as a tourist destination in the Indian Ocean; it only recently adopted multiparty democracy. Yameen's rule has largely been viewed as eroding the country's nascent democratic institutions.

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, who's currently in exile, has called on nearby India and the U.S. to intervene in the crisis.