Maldives ruling party scoffs at pres impeachment

Maldives ruling party on Thursday scoffed at the possibility of impeaching embattled president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom through the parliament, insisting that the now united opposition would not be able to garner enough votes to impeach the president.

Speaking during a press conference on Thursday, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla said the opposition does not have the necessary 57 lawmakers to push through a move to impeach the president claiming that the ruling coalition still enjoyed parliament majority.

The outspoken lawmaker was responding to comments made by self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed who during an interview with opposition aligned Raajje TV earlier Thursday said the only way to bring an end to president Yameen's government was through the parliament.

"President Nasheed said the only way to end president Yameen's government was through the parliament. But there's no way that it can happen. We will not allow that to happen. Even now we have parliament majority. They need 57 votes to impeach the president. The opposition cannot garner that many votes. Because we are vigilant against such a move," the Fonadhoo lawmaker said.

Raheem insisted that president Yameen would not be ousted and added that he would win re-election in September.

Responding to reports of a revolt within the security forces, Raheem alleged that the rumours were designed by the opposition to create discord and instability in the country.

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 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.

After the original state of emergency expired, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.