SAARC parliamentary body appeals for restoration of democracy in the Maldives

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Feb 21

Expressing concern over the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives, where democratic norms have been cast aside, the Chairman of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians has appealed to the Speaker of the Majlis (Parliament) in the Maldives to immediately take steps to restore normalcy and respect for the rule of law in the country.

In his letter to Speaker of Majlis, Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, Chairman of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians Karu Jayasuriya has called for “finding peaceful solutions through dialogue.”

Jayasuriya wrote, “We therefore, urge you, Excellency, as the Speaker of the People’s Majlis to prevail upon the relevant authorities in the Maldives including all parties concerned to find peaceful solutions through dialogue that would ensure a functioning Majlis, where elected Members are able to fulfil their constitutional duties and reassure the people of the Maldives that elections will be free and fair and that fundamental freedoms, democracy, security, stability and prosperity will be guaranteed.”

Criticising the current development, including the declaration of the emergency by President Yameen, Jayasuriya, added, “the recent events impact negatively on credible and inclusive pre-elections processes with the full participation of all parties in the Maldives.”

The Maldives is facing political unrest since President Yameen imposed emergency after refusing to implement a Supreme Court order of freeing imprisoned opposition leaders.

On February 2, the Maldivian Supreme Court acquitted former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ordered the reinstatement of the 12 other parliamentary members.

The political unrest in the country deepened further when the police used force to crack down on Maldivian opposition leaders, who continued to hold anti-government protests.

According to the Maldives Times, more than 30 people have been arrested so far. The Maldivian police forces have not revealed the exact number of the arrested people.Also, the right to a lawyer has been denied for protesters.


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