Attorney General Mohamed Anil on Sunday revealed that he has advised security forces against complying with any order from the Supreme Court to impeach President Abdulla Yameen, to which the police and military have agreed.
In a joint statement with Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam and acting Commissioner of Police Abdulla Nawaz, which was delivered via state media PSM, AG Anil declared that there were rumours of the apex court preparing to order the president’s impeachment as per the opposition’s wishes which would lead to a “national crisis”.
He highlighted that impeaching the country’s leader does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court but the parliament, which needs to pass a motion to impeach with two-thirds of the house voting in favour. The top court comes into the picture should there be any uncertainties regarding the resolution, in which case the court would rule on its legitimacy, Anil said.
“As the attorney general of the Maldives, I’m stating that any order or verdict to impeach the president, of the Supreme Court’s own initiative, does not fall under the legal framework or Constitution. Hence I have very clearly informed the security forces to not obey such an order.”
Anil further noted that the Constitution also forbade the security forces to comply with any unlawful orders.
In the joint statement, Major General Shiyam and acting Police Commissioner Nawaz proclaimed that the police and military would not allow any leeway that could lead to unrest. They both asserted that they would not comply with any unconstitutional orders and that security forces would heed the counsel of the attorney general.
The attorney general’s proclamation comes in the wake of an unprecedented court order issued by the Supreme Court late Thursday, which ordered the release of nine prominent political prisoners, reinstated the 12 lawmakers who were expelled from the parliament, and nullified its previous ruling on floor crossing. It had also urged the government, parliament and security forces to fully comply with the court’s decision, and stated that undermining its decision would constitute “a felonious act.”
While the opposition and several international forces have urged the state to immediately comply, the government has stated that it would clarify its reservations with the judges prior to executing the order. AG Anil had noted that the court order overturned the verdicts of some major convictions, which posed certain legal concerns. The attorney general and prosecutor general have both submitted their concerns to the Supreme Court.
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