Maldives opposition pleads judges to 'stay out of politics'

A top Maldives opposition official on Friday pleaded the archipelago's to "stay out of" the long standing "disagreement" between the opposition and the government.

Speaking during an opposition coalition rally in Gaaf Alif Atoll Villinigili island on Friday, Jumhoory Party (JP) deputy leader Abdulla Riyaz said rifts between the opposition and the government were normal in a democracy, but urged judges not to try and sway the "disagreements" in favour of the government.

The Kinbidhoo MP said incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has failed in delivering on his electoral pledge of establishing an independent judiciary in the country.

"Judges who refuse to settle cases in the way the government wants face a lot of problems," the former police chief alleged.

Riyaz said opposition leaders continue to be sentenced to prison on trumped up charges and urged the judges not to get involved in the country's political strife.