The Supreme Court’s order to release political prisoners poses no threat to President Abdulla Yameen’s embattled administration, the ruling party leadership has insisted.
Ministers and lawmakers at a press conference Friday afternoon declared loyalty to Yameen and condemned the opposition’s alleged plot to topple the government.
“There is nothing stated in the verdict that could bring an end to President Yameen’s government,” said MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla, deputy leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives.
“The constitution entrusts all the responsibility for protecting the safety and security of the Maldivian people to the president. So there is no obstacle at all from the Supreme Court verdict to the president fulfilling his legal responsibility.”
The cabinet and parliamentary group are united behind the president, he added, assuring supporters that Yameen would remain in the Maldives and seek re-election.
He also dismissed claims by opposition spokesman Ahmed Mahloof about the imminent resignation of ministers. No minister or ruling coalition lawmaker has had any contact with their former colleague, he said.
“We will do whatever it takes to protect the Maldivian government. Both our parties love peace. We will not allow a coup that could overthrow a lawful government from the streets,” said MP Ali Mauroof, deputy leader of the PPM’s coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance.
British ambassador James Dauris and Australian ambassador Bryce Hutchesson meanwhile joined the US and India in urging the government to enforce the court order.
Late on Friday evening, as opposition supporters continued to protest in Malé, Attorney General Mohamed Anil announced on state media that he has consulted with the chief justice and raised concerns about releasing inmates convicted of serious crimes.
The chief justice advised enforcing the orders “with due process and through the legal system,” Anil said, adding that the prosecutor general is reviewing the cases before seeking Supreme Court rulings on how to proceed.
I know yesterday's decision by the Supreme Court that reasserts the independence of the judiciary will be widely welcomed in #Maldives.
Friends around the international community will be hoping that the government complies with the Court's ruling quickly and unconditionally.
— James Dauris (@JamesDauris) February 2, 2018
Decision by #Maldives Supreme Court requiring release of opposition leaders a landmark step for #democracy in 🇲🇻- important that #RuleOfLaw is upheld, and independence of judiciary and legislature is respected
— Bryce Hutchesson (@AusHCSriLanka) February 2, 2018
This is the time to show strength n believe in Allah (swt) tht another coup will not persevere. I n Cabinet are strongly with HEP Yameen. May Allah bless us all in this just path.
— Mohamed Shainee (@mshainee) February 2, 2018
Stronger than ever behind RaeesYameen & in the defence of people of our country.
— Dr. Abdulla Khaleel 🌐 (@abkhaleel) February 1, 2018
I have no plans to leave .. I stand steady with HEP Yameen ..: I’m at home
— Aishath Azima Shakoor (@AishathAzima) February 2, 2018
Islam dheenaa qaumuge haqqugai Raees Yameen kuravvamun gendhavaa ikhlaaastheri, hivvarugadha masakkai, rayyithunge furihama baiverivumaa eku kaamiyaab vaane. Haqqah nasru libigendhaane.
— Dr.Mohamed Muizzu (@MMuizzu) February 1, 2018
“The sincere, courageous work President Yameen is doing for the sake of Islam and the nation will succeed with the full participation of the people. The right will prevail.” – minister of housing and infrastructure.
PPM MDA Parliamentary Group othee Saabithu Kamaa eku, Raees Yamin ge Qaanoonee Sarukaaraa Eku, Raiyyithunge Verikan Dhemehettumuga Kamaru bandhegen.
— Ahmed Nihan (@ahmed_nihan) February 1, 2018
PPM akee Abadhuves Qaannon ah Boalanbaa, Court thakuge Hurumathaa, Court thakuge Amuru thakah Kiyaman vaa Party eh. pic.twitter.com/HZGrwxGNNc
— Ahmed Nihan (@ahmed_nihan) February 2, 2018
“PPM MDA parliamentary is steadfast with President Yameen’s lawful government, belts buckled to uphold the people’s rule.”
“The PPM is always a party that complies with the law and abides by the orders and dignity of the orders” – MP for Vilimalé and PPM parliamentary group leader.
Allah ge Heyo Rakhmathaa eku, Raees Yamin aai eku Saabithuve Eba Hurin🇲🇻
— Mohamed Saeed (@em_saeed) February 1, 2018
“With Allah’s good graces, I remain steadfast with President Yameen” – minister of economic development