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#Maldives: Government, Military and Police refuse to accept Judicial supremacy. Impeachment or Revolution next?

Male', Maldives.
Maldives Military and Police Service have both refused to abide by judicial injunctions ordering them to release two prisoners arrested illegally. Senior Judge Abdulla Mohamed was forcibly removed from his residence by military forces and detained at an offshore military camp. The charges against Judge Abdulla are not yet known.

Opposition politician Dr. Mohamed Jameel was re-arrested by police last night in violation of a court order for his release the night before.

While opposition parties and democratic institutions continue to protest and call for the release of the prisoners, it is business as usual for President Nasheed and his government.

Chief Justice Faiz has ordered Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu to take legal action agaist military leader Lt. Gen. Moosa Jaleel to secure the release of Judge Abdulla. However, it is not yet known whether PG Muizzu has taken the appropriate legal steps. PG Muizzu, close friend and class mate of President Nasheed, was Nasheed's private lawyer for many years. Nasheed's current Attorney General Abdullah Muizzu is the PG's younger brother, so it remains to be seen if PG Muizzu will uphold the constitution and discharge his responsibilities in the public interest.

Amidst the outcry throughout the country, the silence of the Parliament is very obvious. The Parliament is led by Abdulla Shahid, a member of the Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party, and reportedly in the pay of Nasheed's financiers, GMR. Shahid also hails from the Jameel family which has a strong presence in Nasheed's cabinet and inner circle. It is interesting that Shahid has chosen not to exercise his powers as Speaker of Parliament to hold Extraordinary Sessions of the Parliament at a time that the Government of the country has clearly overturned the Constitution and laws of the country.

At a time that Government, the military and the police continue their blatant refusal to abide by judicial orders, it is clearly up to the Parliament to step in an enforce legal checks and balances in the country. Independent institutions such as the Human Rights Commission derive their powers from the constitution and law. In an anarchist situation where the Government, backed by military and police, have overthrown the constitution, such independent institutions lack teeth and muscle.

The current situation in Maldives clearly demonstrates that the Judiciary too is powerless when the Government is a tyrannical despotic regime which does not abide by the law.

Maldivians are thus presented with two clear options: Impeachment of the President by Parliament, or Revolution on the streets. Opposing Adhaalath Party has called for impeachment, while parties with presence in the Parliament have threatened direct action. These actions by the opposition show that impeachment is not an option, possibly because the DRP is unlikely to vote against MDP. if all the opposing parties collaborated in an impeachment motion, Nasheed would be hustled out of his office in the blink of an eye and VP Dr. Waheed be the interim leader. However, Parliamentary votes in the recent past have shown that DRP continue to vote with the MDP, and hence other parties cannot raise the required number of votes to pass an impeachment motion.

Of course, vested interests such as big business have third option .. to engineer an internal coup in MDP to rid itself of Nasheed and his cronies. The Addu leadership in MDP could very well implement such a strategy, perhaps in collaboration with the DQP (another Addu/Fuahmulah led party).

Tonight's events will perhaps provide a clearer picture of the political arena of Maldives.

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