'Reinstated dozen' seek criminal probe against ex-speaker

The recently reinstated 12 former ruling party lawmakers have asked the police to launch a criminal investigation against former speaker Abdulla Maseeh.

Maldives' apex court last month had overturned the disqualifications of the dozen lawmakers who had been disqualified over an earlier anti-defection ruling.

The lawmakers in their complaint had asked the police to investigate the many allegations against the former speaker.

Maseeh on Thursday had stepped down from his position as speaker hours before lawmakers were set to vote on a no-confidence motion against him.

The Supreme Court had overturned the disqualifications of the 12 lawmakers saying that the lawmakers 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 lawmakers after they were 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.

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