Maldives police on Friday again announced a manhunt for two reinstated lawmakers amid the ongoing government crackdown.
Police said South-Machchangoalhi MP Abdulla Sinan and Dhangethi MP Ahmed were being sought by an ongoing investigation by its economic crimes department and have asked anyone with information about the whereabouts of the two to notify the police immediately.
The duo had been arrested on Sunday immediately after they returned from self exile after the government launched a crackdown on the dozen lawmakers who had backed an opposition led move to unseat the parliament speaker last March.
The duo were among the dozen former government lawmakers disqualified by the country's electoral watchdog over the Supreme Court's anti-defection ruling.
However, the Criminal Court the following day had denied a remand request and had freed the two lawmakers.
The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.
The Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday had also overturned its previous ruling to provide a ‘temporary solution’ to the issue of floor-crossing and changing party membership of Parliamentarians until the Parliament enacts a law for the purpose.
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed as the apex court rejected the government's 'legal and judicial' concerns over the order.
Since emergency state was declared police have made a series of high profile arrests including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator.
Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before state of emergency was declared.
The top court however, had not rescinded the part of the order which quashed its anti-defection ruling ordering the country's electoral watchdog to re-instate the dozen government lawmakers disqualified over the ruling.
However, the ruling party had hinted that the government would review and was likely to challenge the reinstatement of the rebel lawmakers.
The arrest of the top court judges came after president had alleged that the chief justice had been bribed to issue the court order in a bid to overthrow the government.
Following president Yameen's accusations, police on Wednesday implicated Gayoom in a plot to overthrow the government by bribing the judges to issue the order to release political prisoners.
Acting police chief Abdulla Nawaz during a live press conference had read out the accusations against the trio along with the now jailed judicial administrator Hassan Saeed.
The accusations against Gayoom included bribing lawmakers and judges to influence their authority while the deposed ruling party leader has also been accused of creating discord within the security forces to back the overthrow of his half-brother's government.
The two top court judges are accused of accepting bribes to influence Supreme Court rulings, abuse of power and blocking the functioning of the entire justice system.
Nawaz claimed that police had uncovered evidence of millions of transactions made in connection to the plot.
In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the now rescinded 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 Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.
Former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhsin, magistrate Ahmed Nihan and Adheeb's brother in law Hamid Ismail make up the rest of the list.