President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration has emasculated the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary, former president Abdulla Yameen announced at a rally on Thursday night.
Speaking to a modest-sized and orderly crowd in Malé organised by the opposition Maldives Progressive Movement and the People’s National Congress, Yameen said the government had failed to deliver on its election pledge to deliver justice.
“When you give the powers of the courts to a presidential commission you’re destroying the judiciary. That is unconstitutional and is blatant looting of powers,” he said.
Yameen was referring to the bill passed by parliament last month authorising search and seizure powers to the Commission on Death and Disappearances.
The former president also vowed to cancel every project the government had signed with foreign countries, labelling Solih’s administration naive in its approach to the economy and business.
“If this government changes, and if we come to power, God willing, we will revoke all these agreements,” he said.
Since assuming power, Solih’s administration has signed agreements with numerous countries, including India and Singapore.
Yameen also accused top officials within the government of hiding fugitive Abdulla Luthufee, a convicted terrorist who is being held at the Maldives embassy in Colombo while awaiting extradition.
“This is clearly an act of corruption. This should be investigated under the government’s zero tolerance policy on corruption,” Yameen said.
Luthufee, who led a failed coup against the Maldives in 1988, fled to Sri Lanka in 2011 after being allowed to visit India for medical treatment.
He voluntarily walked into the embassy on May 1 – though the date is disputed. The government only announced that Luthufee was in custody after the opposition made the news public.