Maldives crisis: Opposition submits no-confidence motion against Attorney General

Male [Maldives]: Maldives’ Joint Opposition Spokesperson Ahmed Mahloof said on Sunday they have submitted a no-confidence motion against the Attorney General, the Prosecutor General, Home Minister and the Defence Minister for refusing to implement the Supreme Court ruling.

“I would like to note that the secretary-general and also the deputy secretary general of the Parliament have resigned today,” Mahloof told ANI.

“We are worried that the chief justice of the criminal court has been changed against the ruling of the Supreme Court and now they have started issuing new arrest warrants,” he added.

He further said two out of three Member of Parliament (MPs), who were in exile, were arrested today upon their arrival at the airport here today.

In connection with this, Mahloof also expressed his concern over getting arrested again along with the other leaders and supporters.

“I was in jail for 11 months. Later, I lived in exile and returned to the Maldives a few nights back. I might be arrested at any time. Even the whole opposition, all our leaders, all our supporters in a fear that we all might get arrested anytime,” he said.

The small island nation in the Indian Ocean is witnessing political crisis after President Abdulla Yameen refused to obey Supreme Court’s orders, asking the government to reinstate the 12 ousted MPs and release nine-high profile opposition leader from a jail.

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.

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)