Maldives political crisis: Army on high alert after Abdulla Yameen refuses to accept court order
The Army in the Maldives was on Sunday put on high alert after President Abdulla Yameen refused to accept the Supreme Court order to release political prisoners and reinstate dissident lawmakers.
The court order to restore the seats of 12 government MPs who defected to the opposition would effectively reduce Yameen's party to a minority and expose him to the risk of impeachment.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed has claimed that he has been getting anonymous threat calls. He along with judge Ali Hameed and judicial administrator Hassan Saeed would be spending the night in court, reported news agency ANI.
The government had earlier expressed "concerns" over the judicial order and resisted complying with it, but the court said there can be no excuses.
Dissidents must be released because their trials were politically motivated and flawed, the Supreme Court had said in a statement.
Security forces have been deployed inside the national parliament - known as the People's Majlis - since March last year when Yameen ordered them to evict dissident lawmakers.
Former president and current opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed described the government's refusal to obey the Supreme Court as a "coup". Nasheed, who was controversially convicted of a terrorism charge and jailed for 13 years in 2015, urged police and troops to uphold the constitution. He has been in exile since 2016, when he left on prison leave for medical treatment. He is currently in Colombo, meeting Maldivian dissidents based in Sri Lanka.
The MDP - which is led by Nasheed - has expressed fears that any move by the government to resist the Supreme Court's order may trigger unrest in the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs