Maldives police disperse crowds celebrating court's freeing of opposition leaders

Maldives army surrounds parliament amidst political turmoil

In Maldives, Opposition parties have appealed to the global community including the UN, EU, and India to impress upon the Maldives Government to respect the Supreme Court ruling, which called for release of Opposition leaders.

Nasheed, who is among the prisoners ordered freed, said in a tweet: "Welcome tonight's SC ruling calling for the immediate release of political prisoners and the restoration of their civil and political rights".

The opposition alliance in a statement welcomed the ruling and called for Gayoom's resignation - saying the court's decision "effectively ends President Yameen's authoritarian rule". It also restored the seats of 12 legislators who had been sacked for defecting from Yameen's party.

Shortly after Thursday's ruling the police announced on Twitter that it would enforce it.

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Push notifications were sent to cell phones belonging to Hawaiian residents and alert messages were played on local television. The man said he heard the words "This is not a drill" in a voice he did not recognize and reacted as he was trained to do.

Yameen's office said Attorney General Mohamed Anil had raised the administration's concerns with the chief justice.

This decision has pushed the island nation into a crisis with the likelihood of emergency being declared, as Yameen has got the first session of parliament of 2018 (scheduled for February 5) cancelled, sensing that the opposition will be in majority because of the apex court order.

'I was under the belief I had already started my campaign, but today, I say, with the grace of God, I kick off my campaign and bid for presidency' President Yameen said.

"Although Yameen has said he will abide by the ruling, he is yet to comply with the order delivered more than 36 hours ago", Colombo-based MDP spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said on Saturday morning.

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We encourage IGAD and the African Union to consider sanctions measures against those who undermine the peace process. The US imposed sanctions on three senior officials in September past year .

Earlier, Nasheed had said the ruling cleared the way for him to return to the Maldives and contest elections due later this year. And in the tumultuous world of Maldivian politics, things can change very quickly.

On Thursday, the Maldivian Supreme Court, in a major development, dismissed a terror case against former President Mohamed Nasheed and colleagues enabling them to walk free as well as reinstated as members of Parliament.

The US ambassador to the Maldives urged the country's leader to respect the court's judgement.

It became a multi-party democracy in 2008, but since President Yameen took power in 2013 it has faced questions over freedom of speech, the detention of opponents and the independence of the judiciary.

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It also imposed cess of similar amount on imported petrol and diesel while reducing customs duty by an equal measure. At present, the government levies excise duties of Rs 21.48 per litre on petrol and Rs 17.33 per litre on diesel.

The nation is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192 individual islands, and is popular among foreigners as a luxury tourist destination.

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