Maldives top court reinstates sixth lawmaker

Maldives' apex court on Monday annulled the disqualification of a sixth former ruling party lawmaker who had been disqualified over an earlier anti-defection ruling.

Similar to the verdict earlier Monday, the Supreme Court reinstated South-Machchangoalhi MP Abdulla Sinan saying that the lawmaker had resigned from the party before its anti-defection ruling and could not be applied in retrospect by the Elections Commission.

Elections Commission had disqualified the lawmaker after he was dismissed from the ruling party under the contentious Supreme Court anti-defection ruling to announce by-elections.

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) had officially removed the rebel lawmakers from the party amid a struggle to regain its majority in parliament.

PPM had been devastated by a revolt after as many as a dozen lawmakers backed an opposition led move to unseat the parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh in March last year.

With the latest verdict, Supreme Court has now reinstated six lawmakers while the court is to settle the disputes of two more later Monday.

The verdicts came following the opposition alliance's resounding victory in last month's presidential elections.