MALI, Maldives: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, giving security forces sweeping powers to arrest suspects ahead of a major anti-government protest rally.
The move, announced on Twitter, follows an alleged attempt to assassinate Yameen and the discovery of a bomb near his official residence.
The declaration comes two days before a planned protest by the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), whose leader Mohamed Nasheed is in jail after a widely criticised conviction under anti-terror laws.
“President Yameen has declared state of emergency to ensure the safety and security of every citizen,” his spokesman Muaz Ali tweeted.
Official sources said the declaration of the state of emergency, initially for a period of 30 days, would lead to the automatic suspension of several constitutional provisions including the right of association.
Tensions are high in the island following an explosion aboard President Yameen’s speedboat on September 28 that wounded his wife and two others.
Yameen was unharmed, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has said there is no evidence it was caused by a bomb.
But authorities in the Maldives have called it an attempt on his life. On October 24 Yameen arrested his deputy Ahmed Adeeb, accusing him of “high treason” and linking him to the boat blast.