Maldivian Supreme Court rescinds ruling to release opposition leaders

Maldivian Supreme Court rescinds ruling to release opposition leaders

In another development to consolidate his power, embattled President Abdulla Yameen on Tuesday forced the Supreme Court to revoke an order to release nine high-profile political prisoners.

The new order was signed by the three remaining judges of the Supreme Court.

China on Tuesday expressed hope that the Maldivian government and the opposition parties have the wisdom to resolve the political crisis on their own. Yameen on Tuesday said he declared an emergency to investigate "a coup" against him.

How did we get here?

The political crisis in Maldives erupted following a rigid stand by Yameen who has refused to obey the Supreme Court order to release all the political prisoners.

The bureau said that as Taiwan has no representative office in the Maldives, its citizens can contact the country's representative office in Chennai, India, if they need emergency assistance.

"This declaration is unconstitutional and illegal", he said.

The move took the nation by surprise and the government responded by suspending parliament.

His emergency powers also allow him to search and seize property on the honeymoon island and restrict freedom of assembly, with soldiers in riot gear deployed to prevent parliamentary meetings.

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Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was also arrested shortly after the state of emergency was declared on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.

Abdullah Riyaz, a former Commissioner of Police said, "People of Maldives are demanding the President to step down".

What has the reaction been?

In doing so, the government ignored calls from the United States and the global community to respect the court's verdict.

The country's first democratically-elected President Mohamed Nasheed was jailed in 2013 for ordering the arrest of a senior judge. He was forced to stand down following an army rebellion four years later, and was tried under anti-terror laws in 2015. He now lives in Sri Lanka.

What does this mean for tourists?

For India the stability in Maldives is an imperative for securing the key shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean.

The country descended into political chaos following the order.

India intervened in the Maldives in 1988 to foil a coup against the government but it is considered unlikely they would heed Mr Nasheed's call for intervention this time.

She added, "President Yameen's refusal to implement the ruling puts him outside his constitutional mandate".

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