Govt responds to top court’s landmark ruling

Supreme Court justices

Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed (L) with judges of the Supreme Court —

The government will ensure the Supreme Court’s ruling that freed all political prisoners and reinstated the unseated parliament members is legitimate before it begins enforcing the order; the state claimed in response to the top court’s unprecedented action late Thursday night.

The top court had overturned many if its previous rulings and ordered the release of all political prisoners including former President Mohamed Nasheed, Jumhoory Party’s leader Qasim Ibrahim, Adhaalath Party’s leader Sheikh Imran Abdullah, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim and former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb, and ordered the reinstatement of the parliament members who were unseated after the court’s ruling on floor crossing.

Just hours after the court issued the ruling, the government held a press conference at midnight on Friday with Attorney General Mohamed Anil, Minister of Home Affairs Azleen Ahmed, Minister of Defence Ahmed Shareef, and the Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam.

The defence minister said that there are many technicalities in the ruling that the government has to “think about”, and that the Attorney General will have to carefully analyse the ruling before the government begins enforcing it.

Meanwhile, Anil raised questions about the legitimacy of the order and said that the state would work with the Supreme Court in clarifying certain issues in the order. He hinted that the government was fazed by the top court’s sudden move and that it will appeal the ruling after examining it carefully.

Immediately after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the opposition began celebrating the court’s verdict, and many opposition supporters began gathering near Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s main party hub in the capital Male. Shareef had urged the citizens to act within the confines of the law and to maintain harmony, while Anil reiterated that law enforcement officers would ensure the safety of the citizens.

Speaking to local television channel Raajje TV, former president Nasheed, who was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment on terrorism charges, claimed that the Anil was in contempt of court for alleging that the court order needed to be verified.

During the press conference, Anil had also announced President Abdulla Yameen’s decision to sack the Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef. He had claimed that the president was “disheartened” by Areef’s actions. Maldives Police Service was the first state institution to back the apex court’s ruling and it has since announced that the Deputy Commissioner of Police Ahmed Saudhy has been appointed as the acting police commissioner.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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