'Internal efforts have failed', Maldives ex-VP calls for int'l help

International community must come to help crisis-hit Maldives as all internal efforts to restore democracy have failed, self-exiled former vice president Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed urged Sunday.

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.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

As the state of emergency expired on Tuesday, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.

President Yameen has since labelled the Supreme Court order as an "hounourable coup" and used the rights suspended under emergency state to crackdown hard on the opposition as police have made a series of high profile arrests including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, three lawmakers, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator.

"In such circumstances, my opinion is that the international community must come to help. I believe India must lead international efforts to restore democracy in the Maldives using all available legal mechanisms within the international law," the seasoned politician was quoted by ANI.

Yameen's first vice president who now lives in the UK after he was unceremoniously dismissed from his post urged India to lead international efforts to restore democracy in the Maldives.

He added that all internal Maldivian efforts to restore normalcy had failed.

"People of Maldives tried all available measures to restore democracy. Judiciary has given its judgment, Parliament has tried, constitutional institutions have tried and they all are unable to restore rule of law and democracy in the Maldives," he said.

Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before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 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 uncle Hamid Ismail make up the rest of the list.