Judicial reform tops priority list for new Maldives pres

New Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday vowed to step up efforts to bring much needed judicial reform to the country.

Addressing the parliament after being sworn in at the national football stadium in the capital Male on Saturday, the veteran lawmaker highlighted the experiences over the last 10 years which indicate the pressing urgency to reform the judicial system and to enhance the accountability of the courts to the people.

"As stipulated in the Constitution, practicing justices ought to be assured an enabling atmosphere where they may conduct fair hearings free from external coercion," Solih said.

He also stressed on the need for competent justices with extensive judicial expertise and integrity were a necessary prerequisite to thoroughly safeguard the people's right to justice.

"Reforming the judicial system will be one of the highest priority areas of my Administration," he insisted.

Solih said the country need to focus on moving ahead, to take back the rights that have been denied and save nation from its dire condition.

"We need to help seek justice for those subject to abuse and unfair treatment. The treasury needs to be strengthened. Unaccountable deaths and disappearances need to be investigated and findings disclosed. For us to move ahead as one nation, such grave matters need to be addressed immediately."