Male, (AFP), 19 Feb 2018 - The Maldives’ top court has suspended 12 pro-opposition legislators before a crucial parliamentary vote Monday, emboldening President Abdulla Yameen as he clings to power in the troubled islands.
The Supreme Court decision late Sunday reverses its original order to reinstate the MPs, who had defected from the ruling party. It comes as parliament prepares to ratify a state of emergency declared by Yameen that plunged the Maldives into crisis.
The court had ruled on February 1 that the 12 defectors be reinstalled as legislators, reducing the president’s party to minority rule in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
This latest backflip by the Supreme Court restores Yameen’s majority in the 85-member legislature.
Earlier this month the remaining judges of the court reversed their earlier order to release political prisoners, including Yameen’s main rival Mohamed Nasheed.
His estranged half-brother, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was among those arrested on a charge of bribing Supreme Court justices to topple the government through a constitutional coup.