International pressure on the Maldives government mounted on Saturday after the United Nations (UN) chief echoed calls to respect the Supreme Court ruling ordering the release of jailed politicians including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed and the reinstatement of a dozen lawmakers.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement had also urged the opposition and the government to exercise restraint.
"The Secretary-General reiterates his belief in finding a solution to the political stalemate in the Maldives through all-party talks, which the United Nations continues to stand ready to facilitate," the statement by his spokesperson read.
Maldives' international partners including the UN, UK, US and India have echoed calls on the government to comply with the court order.
More than a day after the Supreme court ordered the immediate release of as many as nine political prisoners, government has thus far refused to comply.
In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the order included Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and deposed ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.
The others named in the order included former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhsin, magistrate Ahmed Nihan and Adheeb's brother in law Hamid Ismail.
The Supreme Court had said the questionable and politically motivated nature of the trials of the political leaders warrants a re-trial and ordered the authorities to immediately free the jailed leaders until a court of law sentences otherwise.
The court has ordered relevant authorities to strictly enforce the order and warned legal action against anyone who refuses to obey the court order.
The court had also annulled its anti-defection ruling and ordered the country's electoral watchdog to re-instate the dozen government lawmakers disqualified over the ruling. The Supreme Court said the anti-defection ruling was issued as a temporary solution to the constitutional dispute case filed by the state but insisted that the relevant authorities have failed to bring to effect an anti-defection law specified in the ruling.