President Abdulla Yameen asked parliament on Monday to extend a state of emergency in the Maldives for an additional 15 days.
The state of emergency was declared on February 6 for a period of 15 days, expiring Tuesday.
A total of 39 ruling party lawmakers are at the extraordinary parliamentary sitting that started at 11 am. They are debating the president’s request and have the powers to approve it or annul the state of emergency’s declaration.
Members later agreed to send the state of emergency declaration to the national security committee for debate, with 38 out of 39 voting in favour.
All opposition lawmakers have boycotted the session.
MP Ahmed Mahloof, speaking to reporters outside the parliament compound, said the boycott 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. That number is 43. Right now there are 40 MPs inside, so they can’t take the vote,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Sunday night postponed the reinstatement of 12 lawmakers, whittling down the opposition’s headcount further.
It also threw out a case Yumna Maumoon, the daughter of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had challenged the state of emergency declaration. The court said there was no constitutional basis for saying the state of emergency was in violation of the constitution.
Yameen announced a state of emergency, he said, so that a coup plot could be investigated.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent