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Maldives Prez Abdulla Yameen asks Parliament to extend ongoing emergency for additional 15 days

Abdulla Yameen

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen today asked Parliament to extend the ongoing emergency in the country for an additional 15 days even as opposition MPs boycotted the session.

MPs loyal to the President voted to send the proposal to the national security committee for debate, with 38 out of 39 voting in favour.

All opposition MPs boycotted the session saying it was to prevent the ruling party from having the numbers needed for the crucial vote.

According to the Constitution, any vote that requires compliance by the people has to be taken with the presence of more than half of all MPs in the 85-member house.

Opposition MP Ahmed Mahloof said the ruling side has only 40 MPs inside and so they cannot take the vote.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had put a stay on its earlier ruling to reinstate 12 parliamentarians who lost their seats. The court did not give any reason behind the decision.

Maldives government had secured a Supreme court ruling only yesterday to overturn its earlier ruling for reinstatement of 12 MPs and thus deny the opposition a majority vote. However, there is another barrier which they need to cross to legalize the emergency provisions and to further extend it by 115 days.

The process requires presence of more than half of parliament strength to vote but with opposition boycott, this number of 43 may not be achieved. Opposition MP Ahmed Mahloof claimed that some of them are being offered bribe to secure their support and it will be clear by tomorrow whether President Yameen is able to further extend the emergency

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