Maldives lifts emergency

Updated 11 November 2015
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Maldives lifts emergency

MALE, Maldives: The Maldives government Tuesday bowed to mounting international pressure and lifted a state of emergency imposed last week after an alleged plot to blow up the president onboard his speedboat.
The government said it had decided to end the week-long emergency after the Indian Ocean archipelago’s security forces advised President Abdulla Yameen that “the overall security situation in the country has improved.”
“The Government of the Maldives today has lifted the state of emergency in the country with immediate effect,” said a Foreign ministry Statement.
“With the lifting of the state of emergency, all fundamental rights that were suspended, have been restored.”
Yameen imposed the state of emergency last Wednesday in a move that gave wider powers to police and armed forces to arrest and suspending freedom of assembly and movement.
The former colonial power Britain as well as the United States, the European Union and neighboring Sri Lanka had called for an immediate end to the emergency which was seen as a tool to suppress dissent.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) welcomed the end of emergency rule, saying the decision to invoke the emergency was designed to give the government legal cover to crack down on its opponents and impeach his own estranged Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
The Maldives, a popular destination for honeymooners, has been rocked by political unrest in recent months, which reached new heights last week when Adeeb’s impeachment was fast-tracked using emergency laws.
“Yameen’s increasingly erratic, paranoid and dangerous behavior is damaging the country and proves he is unfit to be president,” the MDP said in a statement. “He has failed and should step down.”
Adeeb, whose predecessor was also impeached in July, has been accused of high treason over an explosion on the presidential speedboat in September that left Yameen unhurt but injured his wife and one of his bodyguards.
Yameen had insisted that it was necessary to use draconian powers to deal with at least three attempts to kill him and the stability of the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims living in a cluster of 1,192 tiny coral islands across the equator in the Indian Ocean.


Mauritania’s electoral commission confirms Ghazouani win

Updated 24 June 2019
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Mauritania’s electoral commission confirms Ghazouani win

  • The result had been widely expected
  • The election paves the way for the first peaceful transfer of power since independence from France in 1960

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania: Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, a retired general who served as defense minister before being picked as the chosen successor to Mauritania’s outgoing president, won the weekend election by a large margin, the country’s electoral commission announced.
The result had been widely expected and was swiftly confirmed after Ghazouani claimed victory Saturday evening within hours of polls closing.
The election paves the way for the first peaceful transfer of power since independence from France in 1960, though retiring President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz had a hand in choosing his successor. Aziz was barred from seeking a third term under Mauritania’s constitution.
Ghazouani received 52 percent of the vote, while Biram Dah Abied, a human rights activist who has campaigned against slavery in the West African nation, received nearly 19 percent, according to the electoral commission.
Mauritania, a desert nation and moderate Islamic republic, has managed to avoid the spillover in violence from neighboring Mali that has plagued Burkina Faso and Niger.
Mauritania, though, has suffered five coups since independence, and has been led by military rulers for much of that time. Aziz himself was head of the presidential guard when he seized power in a 2008 coup, although he said he did so to prevent a return to repressive military rule.
He then won a landslide election the following year that his opponents decried as a fraudulent “electoral coup.” Most opposition parties boycotted the 2014 election, when Aziz won 82 percent of the vote according to official results.
Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1981 but did not criminalize it until 2007. The United States ended trade benefits with Mauritania late last year, saying that the country is not making sufficient progress toward combating forced labor, including slavery. The Mauritanian government, however, denies that slavery is widespread in the country.