Maldives president lifts 45-day state of emergency

The president of Maldives, Yameen Abdul Gayoom, on Thursday lifted a 45-day state of emergency he declared during a court-triggered challenge to his political control. Gayoom’s office said he lifted the emergency on the advice of security officials to promote normalcy in the country, AP said. The emergency was declared amid turmoil that followed a Supreme Court order that some of Yameen’s main political opponents be freed from prison and retried. The president’s half-brother and former dictator, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, two Supreme Court judges including the chief justice, and four lawmakers were arrested and accused of conspiring to overthrow the government. The list of prisoners ordered to be released included Mohamed Nasheed. Had he been cleared he could have become a strong rival to Yameen, who is seeking re-election later this year.