Chief govt MP 'lied' to IPU, says opposition

Maldives' chief government lawmaker Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik had 'lied' to the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) delegation saying that the chief opposition lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been released from custody, the opposition alleged Monday.

The Hinnavaru MP Solih was arrested during Friday's anti-government protest in the capital Male and remains in custody while the police are seeking a remand extension later Monday.

However, according to the opposition, the Villi-Maafannu lawmaker had told the IPU delegation that Solih had been released.

"Just met the IPU delegation. PPM PG leader blatantly lied to the IPU parliament delegation and told them that Joint Opposition Leader Solih has been released from jail! What liars!," main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) deputy parliamentary group leader Rozaina Adam alleged on Twitter.

Solih meanwhile became the latest high-profile opposition figure to be accused in the plot to overthrow the government.

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, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.

President Yameen is facing mounting pressure even within the security forces after exploiting 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 Gayoom, three lawmakers, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator.