Maldives crisis: Reinstated MPs enter parl. despite military blockade

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2018 16:38 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb. 04 (ANI): In the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives, 12 reinstated Maldivian parliamentary members managed to enter the Parliament premises in Male on Sunday despite the military blockade.

Maldives' Supreme Court on Thursday had ordered to reinstate the 12 MPs who were previously stripped of their seats to give the opposition coalition a majority in parliament, which has the power to impeach the president.

The court also ordered for the immediate release of nine high-profile prisoners including former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed and former Maldivian vice president Ahmed Adeeb.

However, President Abdulla Yameen refused to obey the order, throwing the country into crisis.

Also, Maldivian authorities on Saturday announced an indefinite postponement of parliamentary session

Earlier today, the Maldives police allegedly used force and pepper spray on a group of people gathered outside Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed's residence in Male to stop his arrest.

There were scuffles between the protesters trying to protect the chief justice from getting arrested and the police dressed in riot gear outside the senior judge's residence.

However, the police denied the reports that they entered his house and arrested him.

"Reports about police entering the chief justice's residence and that he was arrested are not true," they tweeted.

Describing the ordeal, Eva Abdulla, Member of Parliament of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), told ANI over the phone, "Absolute breakdown of law and order. The public is on the edge. I am very concerned as we are facing increased unrest. They (police) have just used pepper spray and tear gas on the crowd."

Eva added, "We need our neighbours, especially India to do all that it can to impress upon the government of Maldives to implement the SC ruling."

The Maldives has been in a state of turmoil since 2015 when Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the country, was arrested on "terrorism" charges, relating to the arrest of a judge during his tenure.

The arrest had led to widespread protests across the country and resulted in the arrest of hundreds of dissidents. The apex court had sentenced Nasheed to 13 years in prison.

In 2016, Nasheed sought political asylum in the United Kingdom (UK) after travelling there on medical leave from prison.

Ten years ago, the Maldives became a multiparty democracy, after three decades of autocratic rule of former strongman and Yameen's half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. (ANI)

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