Legal Politics

To ease global pressure, Maldives honouring supreme court order seeking to reinstate defectors


Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom | AP Photo

NEW DELHI: To ease growing international and domestic pressure, the Maldives government led by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said it was honouring the supreme court ruling ordering the reinstatement of a dozen opposition lawmakers.

Abdul Raheem Abdulla, deputy leader of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), told party workers late Sunday that parliament had revoked the disqualifications as per the Supreme Court ruling.

“There’s no longer a need for the public to take to the streets demanding the government to implement the supreme court order. That was the only order left to be implemented. Because the rest of the order has been rescinded,” he was quoted as saying.

“President Yameen chose to ignore part of the ruling which called for the release of the political prisoners, including (former President) Nasheed,” Eva Abdulla, an MP belonging to Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic party, told The New Indian Express. “He declared a state of emergency to stop the opposition momentum and is now using it to bypass all due process in clamping down on the opposition. He’s coming after family members of critics too… wives, children… completely abandoning any semblance of following the law, and levelling fantastical, trumped- up, egregious  accusations against his critics, “ she said.

On February 1, the supreme court had ordered the immediate release of nine political leaders, including former president Mohamed Nasheed, who has been charged with terrorism. The court also ordered the reinstatement of a dozen lawmakers who had been disqualified after they defected to the opposition.

Yameen reacted by declaring an emergency and arresting several people, including chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed, chief judicial administrator Hassan Saeed, two lawmakers and his half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. While Gayoom has been charged with bribing lawmakers and judges to overthrow of the government, the two judges are accused of accepting bribes to influence supreme court rulings and abuse of power.

The next day, the remaining three supreme court judges rescinded the ruling to release the political leaders, but not the order seeking reinstatement of the dozen lawmakers disqualified for floor crossing.

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