Country impeaches vice president as emergency law deepens turmoil

Ahmed Adeeb, who was detained in connection with the Sept. 28 explosion, was impeached after 61 members of the 85-member parliament voted in favour.

Maldives impeaches vice president as emergency law deepens turmoil

The parliament in the Maldives impeached the vice president on Thursday over his alleged role in a blast on the president's speedboat, a day after the government declared a state of emergency that was condemned by the international community.

The decree has deepened turmoil engulfing the Indian Ocean archipelago following the blast on President Abdulla Yameen's speedboat, which the government said was an assassination attempt.

Ahmed Adeeb, who was detained in connection with the Sept. 28 explosion, was impeached after 61 members of the 85-member parliament voted in favour.

Home Minister Umar Naseer said Adeeb would be removed from office and Yameen can appoint a replacement.

The move came as security was tightened in the capital Male, with troops patrolling the streets two days before a planned protest planned by the main opposition party.

The United States, the Commonwealth and rights groups have called on the Maldives to lift its state of emergency and end a crackdown on dissidents.

Yameen declared the state of emergency citing threats to national security after officials said an explosive device was discovered near his residence in Male, as well as stashes of weapons.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, asked to examine the scene of the boat blast, said there was "no conclusive evidence" that a bomb had exploded, raising doubts over its cause.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement issued late on Wednesday it was "deeply concerned" by the state of emergency.

"The United States calls on the government of Maldives to restore immediately full constitutional freedoms to its citizens by terminating the state of emergency, and reiterates its call for an end to politically motivated prosecutions and detentions," it said.

Rights group Amnesty International said the government should not use the order to silence free speech or infringe on other human rights.

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