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State of emergency declared in Maldives

State of emergency declared in Maldives

Political unrest in the Republic of Maldives prompted the Asian nation's President on Monday (Feb 5) to declare a state of emergency for 15 days. The move, which gives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom power to arrest and detain people, reflects a power struggle between the island nation's Supreme Court and its government.

"During this time, though certain rights will be restricted, general movements, services and businesses will not be affected," said a statement from the office of the President.

The court last week ordered the release of political prisoners and the reinstatement of elected members of Parliament that would give the political opposition majority power. But President Yameen has rejected adhering to the court order.

The Maldives attorney general on Sunday advised law enforcement to uphold the constitution and warned that the Supreme Court may "issue a ruling to impeach the President," according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry. On Monday, the tension escalated when Maldives National Defense Forces reportedly broke into the Supreme Court in the capital city of Male.

Security forces "blockaded and locked the Supreme Court building from outside and hence the justices are without any food," Maldives' former Attorney General Husnu Al Suood tweeted.

- Source: CNN