Maldivian president declares state of emergency

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom declares 30-day nationwide state of emergency, giving more power to security forces for national security and public safety

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Maldives has had a difficult transition to democracy since holding its first multiparty election in 2008 [AP]

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom has declared a 30-day state of emergency, giving sweeping powers to security forces to arrest suspects ahead of a major anti-government protest rally, his spokesman said.

The decision was declared just two days before the planned protest by the main opposition, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

"Maldives declares state of emergency for a period of 30 days starting 12pm [07:00 GMT] Wednesday," the presidential spokesman Muaz Ali tweeted on Wednesday.

Gayoom said on Tuesday that he would take all steps to ensure the safety of his people, a day after an explosive device was found near his official residence.

In his speech to the nation he said an explosion last month on his speedboat was "an act of greed to attain power", an apparent reference to his vice president, who is being held for questioning over the alleged assassination attempt.

The FBI investigated the attack, right after Maldives’ request, and said it found no evidence a bomb had caused explosion on the boat.

The government said Gayoom was not sitting in his usual seat on the boat and thus was not hurt by the blast, which injured his wife, an aide, and a bodyguard.

Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was arrested with nine other people, on suspicion of responsibility in the boat explosion. The Maldives Constitution allows vice president to take over power if the president dies or incapacitated.

Maldives is located in Indian Ocean, has 350,000 population of mostly Sunni Muslims.

Democratization process insuperably moves on its way since first multiparty election in 2008 as the first democratically elected president had been jailed for 13 years under the terrorism law in the country.

TRTWorld and agencies