Maldives ruling party late Sunday for the first time publicly accepted the Supreme Court's recent decision to order the reinstatement of a dozen lawmakers.
The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.
The Supreme Court’s decision 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, two lawmakers, 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Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before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The top court however, had not rescinded the part of the order which quashed its anti-defection ruling ordering the country's electoral watchdog to re-instate the dozen government lawmakers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.
During a press conference late Sunday, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla admitted that the parliament had now revoked the disqualifications based on the Supreme Court ruling adding that there was no longer a Supreme Court order the government had not implemented.
"There's no longer a need for the public to take to the streets demanding the government to implement the Supreme Court order. Based on that order, parliament has now revoked the disqualifications of the lawmakers. That was the only order left to be implemented. Because the rest of the order has been rescinded," the Fonadhoo lawmaker explained.
Police on Sunday had claimed that new evidence had been uncovered in connection to the plot adding that a total eight people had been arrested thus far over the case.
In the statement, police had claimed to have uncovered document evidence implicating the suspects to the case revealing that over USD200,000 along with over MVR500,000 were found in a bag that belonged to the chief judicial administrator Hassan Saeed.
Police also said judge Ali Hameed had purchased a flat with the bribe money and an unnamed company had "loaned" over USD2 million to the judge.
The latest accusations came after police had confirmed Gayoom had bribed the judges into issuing the order in a bid to overthrow the government.
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.
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.