Hours after the Supreme Court ruling to release key political prisoners and reinstate 12 MPs, President Yameen Abdul Gayoom has refused to honour the rule of law in the Maldives.
This decision has pushed the island nation into a crisis with the likelihood of emergency being declared, as President Yameen Abdul Gayoom has got the first session of parliament of 2018 (scheduled for February 5th) cancelled, as the opposition will be in majority because of the apex court order.
Ahmed Mahloof, a Member of Parliament for Galolhu-South constituency in the People's Majlis told ANI in an interview conducted via telephone, "The parliament opening has been cancelled because President Yameen knows that he no longer has a majority. That means we will be protesting at the parliament opening and later we will also proceed with impeachment motions."
He said, "Yameen does not want to allow this to happen, so, he plans to continue to hold the parliament hostage through his imposter speaker."
"President Yameen's authoritarianism cannot continue after the Supreme Court ruling. When it is enforced, the opposition will continue the work for impeaching the speaker of the parliament and freeing the hijacked judiciary," added Mahloof.
"We are worried that the government is not obeying the Supreme Court verdict. We are hopeful this will change as when the international pressure mounts," Mahloof, who is the spokesperson of the joint opposition," he added.
He believes officials and ministers of the present government would submit their resignations as they are feeling the pressure to release the leaders lodged in jail.
On Friday night, Director of Prisons at K. Maafushi Prison, Salman Rasheed, also resigned from his post.
He told ANI that the cancellation of the February 5 session of Parliament is a `deliberate and desperate' attempt by President Yameen Abdul Gayoom as there is no security threat.
Mahloof wished India and other countries would put more diplomatic pressure as the people of Maldives are suffering due to the political uncertainty in the country. He said the growing influence of China in the island nation is adding to their woes.
"There is an increase in the number of violations by Chinese workers in Maldives. This has increased for the past few years and is a cause of worry," added Mahloof, a one time political prisoner.
Speaking to ANI over phone from Male, Abdulla Riyaz, a former police commissioner who was forced to resign by President Yameen in 2013, said, "Its been hours after a Supreme Court ruling ordered the release of key prisoners and reinstated 12 MPs, but the police has failed to act".
He said" We have asked India, the United Nations and the United States for support. Else, the people will come to the streets and it will be escalated to humanitarian crisis. The president should uphold the Supreme Court ruling. Else, the people will be on the streets and situation will worsen".
He added, "Our friends from neighbouring countries should engage to maintain the rule of law".
Ali Zahir, deputy leader of Adhalat Party, told ANI, "Soon, former President Mahmood Nasheed and other top leaders who are living in exile will return back to Maldives".
He said, "If the law enforcement agencies fail to implement Supreme Court ruling, we will mobilize people to upload the rule of law."
All opposition leaders in the Maldives say that President Yameen has killed democracy in the country and it is high time that the international community takes note of the crisis engulfing the nation.