Wednesday, February 21, 2018

President Yameen concludes presidential address without stating present crisis in Maldives

  • The inaugural sitting of parliament was held on Wednesday night
  • There were only 36 members in attendance
  • The President highlighted the various projects his administration had completed in the past four years

President Abdulla Yameen concluded the presidential address at the first sitting of the parliament in under 30 minutes, without mentioning the current crisis in the country.
While the ruling coalition is said to have 41 members in its side, there were only 36 in attendance tonight at Dharubaaruge, where the sitting was held.
During his address, the President highlighted the various projects his administration had completed in the past four years.
However, Article 84 of the Constitution states that ‘at the beginning of the first session of each year at the first sitting, the President shall address the People’s Majlis on the state of the country, and may present proposals for improving the state of the country to the People’s Majlis’. It has to be held on the first Monday or Thursday of February.
While the parliament sessions were to start on the 5th February, the inaugural sitting was cancelled due to ‘security reasons’. The same day, a state of emergency was announced. An extraordinary session of the Parliament was held on Monday and Tuesday, where the government proposed and approved to extend the state of emergency by 30 days. Opposition parliamentarians had boycotted the session. The vote was passed without the constitutionally required quorum.

Friday, February 2, 2018

All 12 parliamentarians retain their seats - Supreme Court rules

  • The apex court ruled that none of the parliamentarians have been penalized
  • The ruling follows days of the opposition's leadership pursuing it
  • The court had also ruled for the release of a number of politicians

The Supreme Court has on Thursday night ruled on the opposition's case over the state of 12 parliamentarians who the Elections Commission deemed had lost their seats.
The apex court ruled that none of the parliamentarians have been penalized and that they still retain their position and seats in parliament. 
The ruling follows days of the opposition's leadership pursuing it at both the Elections Commission and the Supreme Court. 
The court had also ruled for the release of a number of politicians currently serving criminal sentences.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Former Maldives president vows to run for office after prisoners freed

     Maldivian opposition protesters demand the release of political prisoners in Male.
The exiled former president of the Maldives has said he will run again for office, hours after a surprise supreme court decision to free a group of political prisoners led to unrest in the capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
President Yameen Abdul Gayoom had been set to run for re-election virtually unopposed, with all of his opponents either jailed or exiled, but the former president Mohammed Nasheed, who was among those freed, said he would be a candidate. Yameen has rolled back many democratic reforms since coming to power five years ago.
Nasheed was jailed in 2016, but received asylum in Britain later the same year after travelling there on medical leave from prison. He has lived in exile ever since.
“I can contest and I will contest and hopefully we will win it again,” he said from Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The court ruling on Thursday night ordered the release of nine political dissidents, saying their guilty verdicts had been politically influenced. It ordered fresh trials for all nine, but it was not immediately clear how this might affect the elections. The opposition alliance welcomed the ruling in a statement, saying it “effectively ends President Yameen’s authoritarian rule”.
Hundreds of flag-waving Nasheed supporters poured into the streets of Malé after the verdict. Clashes broke out quickly after Yameen fired the country’s police chief, whose department had announced it would uphold the supreme court verdict.
The clashes lasted about three hours, and police dispersed stone-throwing crowds using pepper spray and batons. At least one injured police officer was taken to hospital. It was not immediately clear if there were any arrests, but some protesters were taken away by police.
Malé was quiet on Friday afternoon, but an opposition leader said further protests were planned.
Atul Keshap, the US ambassador to the Maldives, welcomed the supreme court order. “I urge the government and security services to respect this ruling, which bolsters democracy and rule of law for all Maldivians,” he wrote on Twitter.
An archipelago known for its luxury tourist resorts, the Maldives became a multiparty democracy 10 years ago after decades of autocratic rule by the president’s half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Yameen has maintained a tight grip on power, controlling institutions such as the judiciary, police and the bureaucracy. The half-brothers have since fallen out, and Maumoon has joined the opposition.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

President Yameen Inaugurates Passport Card

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has, this morning, inaugurated the “Passport Card”, with multifunctional features. The launching ceremony was held at the President’s Office.

Apart from being an identity travel document, the Passport Card launched today can be linked to the holders’ account at the Bank of Maldives, and insurance plan at Allied Insurance. The Passport Card also allows other additional e-services like e-transport to be incorporated.
This unique polycarbonate passport card is manufactured with exceptional levels of technology and with the highest levels of security, by German company Dermalog. The Maldives is the first country to introduce a multifunctional polycarbonate passport card.
At the ceremony, the Controller General of Immigration Mohamed Anwar presented to the President, his Passport Card.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Muslim-majority Indonesia cracks down on alcohol sales

JAKARTA, April 16, 2015 (AFP) - Indonesia on Thursday introduced a ban on small retailers selling most alcoholic drinks, the latest move to curb drinking in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, despite opposition from the industry and in tourism hotspots.

The ban restricts the sale of beer and pre-mixed drinks -- such as spirits with soft drinks -- to large supermarkets only, outlawing sales in the country's 16,000 mini marts and 55,000 other small shops. Hotels, restaurants and bars are unaffected.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Malaysia sharpens response in latest air disaster

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's deal with pro-Russian rebels on MH17 caps an official response to the disaster that is being hailed at home as a swift and clear counterpoint to the government's widely mocked reaction to the disappearance of MH370.
The leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak has been put to the test again by yet another tragic and complex air disaster just four months after the still-unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 rocked his country.