Police still independent, asserts President Yameen

President Abdulla Yameen pictured with members of the PPM leadership at a ruling party rally. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

President Abdulla Yameen pictured with members of the PPM leadership at a ruling party rally. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

President Abdulla Yameen on Monday night declared that Maldives Police Service remain an independent institution, and that they are tasked only with law enforcement without room for political ideologies.

Yameen made the remark at a rally of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). He recently came under fire after it surfaced that he had ordered the police to execute the Criminal Court’s order to rearrest opposition lawmaker Faris Maumoon last Saturday, with several politicians claiming that it indicated Yameen’s influence over the police.

The president rebutted the claims Monday night, stating that the police, as law enforcement, are barred from executing individual beliefs and ideologies.

In his address, Yameen went on to slate the opposition, proclaiming that they were not in any position to speak of police independence. Referring to the government of his predecessor, Mohamed Nasheed, Yameen claimed that some of the then cabinet ministers and lawmakers of Nasheed’s party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), had been appointed to run Maldives Police Service.

“[During MDP’s regime], who was on the commissioner’s chair? Certainly it was not Commissioner Faseeh making the decisions then, but rather some member of parliament,” said Yameen, referring to Ahmed Faseeh, the commissioner of police during Nasheed’s presidency who is currently serving in a senior post at Maldives Road Development Corporation (MRDC).

“People with such a murky past should not speak of independence in Police.”

Reiterating that the police are an independent institution, Yameen remarked that the police are mandated to execute court orders without question. Should they “forget” their responsibilities, then the incumbent president is mandated by the Constitution to “remind” them, stated Yameen.

Similarly, he declared that it falls on the president, under the Constitution, to ensure that independent institutions such as the police, Elections Commission and Supreme Court do not go astray.

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