Self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed on Sunday vowed to have both the army and police chief arrested after the duo vowed to quash an 'imminent' move by the Supreme Court to have president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom arrested.
Attorney General (AG) Mohamed Anil flanked by the army and police chief on Sunday morning said the government has received information that a Supreme Court order to arrest president Yameen was imminent.
However, AG labelled the move as "unconstitutional" and the police and the army would reject any order by the Supreme Court to have the president arrested.
Chief of defence force Major General Ahmed Shiyam said the army would only act in accordance with the laws and constitution, adding that it would follow the legal advice of the attorney general.
"The army would not stand by watch while the Maldives goes into a crisis. The army would not obey an unconstitutional order," Shiyam insisted.
Newly appointed police chief Abdulla Nawaz echoed the army chief's statement.
The latest development in the ongoing political turmoil comes amid accusations that the opposition had bribed some of the judges on the Supreme Court bench to influence the ruling ordering the release of jailed political leaders including Nasheed.
More than two days after the Supreme court ordered the immediate release of as many as nine political prisoners, government has thus far refused to comply.
Shortly after the AG led press briefing, Nasheed in an interview with opposition aligned Raajje TV said the heads of the security forces would be held accountable if they refuse to adhere to the constitution, labeling their defiance as an act of "treason".
The self-exiled former President said their statements are a clear act to defy the constitution and rule of law. Nasheed also urged the army and police to respect and abide by the top court orders, warning that the international community is closely monitoring the tense situation in the Maldives.
The former state head assured the people that the opposition would succeed in ending the autocratic government with the next two days and urged the people throughout the country to head to the capital Male to stand against the injustice of the government.
In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the Supreme Court 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.
Maldives' international partners including the UN, UK, US and India have echoed calls on the government to comply with the court order.
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.