Supreme Court order came “out of the blue”: President Yameen

President Abdulla Yameen speaking to the crowd gathered near PPM’s main party hub in the western end (Maafannu) of Male on February 3, 2018. This was the first time since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that the president officially addressed the public. MIHAARU PHOTO / NISHAN ALI

The Supreme Court’s order that freed the several opposition leaders and reinstated the expelled lawmakers came as a shock to the government, President Abdulla Yameen revealed Saturday during his first public appearance since the unprecedented ruling was issued late Thursday.

The president had also announced that he would be starting his presidential re-election campaign immediately.

Several ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) supporters had gathered near the party’s main hub at the western end of the capital Saturday evening to show their support to the president.

Addressing the crowd, Yameen insisted that the government should be given more time to analyse the court’s ruling, and admitted that it was not the outcome that the ruling government was expecting.

“It came out of the blue; we were not expecting, nor were we prepared for the Supreme Court’s decision to turn out this way. However, the Supreme Court is Maldives’ top court – as such, the state, the government, the prosecutor general and all other relevant state institutions must carefully consider the best ways to enforce its decision,” Yameen said.

Yameen also said that since the court issued its ruling on Thursday night, he has been working with a team of advisers throughout the weekend to ensure that all proceedings related to the ruling are being carried out accordingly.

PPM supporters gathered near the party's main party hub to show their support to President Yameen on February 3, 2018. MIHAARU PHOTO / NISHAN ALI

PPM supporters gathered near the party’s main party hub to show their support to President Yameen on February 3, 2018. MIHAARU PHOTO / NISHAN ALI

“God willing, everything is going smoothly, and we were able to speak to some of the top court judges – so we’ve opened a dialogue now. We’ve discussed our concerns in enforcing the order, and we’ve also highlighted the issues that need further clarification. I’ve even spoken to the Chief Justice myself,” Yameen assured the government supporters gathered on the street.

He admitted that the ruling was vexing for the government, but assured that it is willing to work with the Supreme Court to ensure that the public is not affected by it, and everything runs smoothly.

Speaking about his bid for re-election, President Yameen said that the race for presidency has now officially begun, with the recent turn of events: “I’ve thought for a while now that we’ve started campaigning for the upcoming election. But I think it’s time to start our campaign anew.”

“We’ve dealt with many challenges; from the state institutions, from the parliament, and even within our party. But it’s pretty clear what the public wants and where they stand,” Yameen said.

He further said that PPM had not actively called any of its supporters to rally, but the fact that “so many citizens, on their own accord” gathered to show their unwavering support to the ruling government was testimonial to how things would turn out in the presidential election.

The president had to pause his speech several times due to the loud cheers of the crowd gathered near the PPM hub in Male. Many were sporting pink clothes, which is the party’s official colour. He added that if the party had, indeed, called its supporters to gather, there would be thousands of people who would come out in support of his administration.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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