18 February, Male: Late Sunday evening, the Supreme Court of the Maldives issued an order to delay enforcement of its own verdict of 1st February to reinstate 12 Members of Parliament. The original verdict was signed by the full bench ordered the reinstatement of 12 Opposition lawmakers who had been unconstitutionally stripped of their seats by the Elections Commission.
On Sunday afternoon, the Attorney General petitioned the Supreme Court and the apex court issued the verdict within a few hours. Last week, the Court revoked another part of its original verdict, which ordered the immediate release of 9 political prisoners.
President Yameen refused to abide by the Supreme Court ruling, declared an unconstitutional state of emergency and then ordered the security services to arrest the Chief Justice, another Justice at the Supreme Court and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Having jailed the two Justices, President Yameen has coerced and intimidated the remaining three judges to reverse the ruling, which was issued by the full bench.
The Constitutional deadline for Parliamentary ratification of the state of emergency decree ends tomorrow. President Yameen had ordered the military to seize the Parliament and delayed the opening of Parliament, until he was guaranteed a parliamentary majority to legalise the decree. The Parliament still remains under military guard, and instead of opening Parliament as scheduled, the Speaker has called for an emergency sitting. The emergency sitting called for tomorrow will now be held without the 12 opposition MPs.
President Yameen has resorted to jailing 3 MPs, jailing the country’s Chief Justice, and coercing the Supreme Court for an injunction that removes 12 MPs, and thereby ensuring the opposition cannot maintain its majority.