COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — An opposition alliance in the Maldives has petitioned the Supreme Court to temporarily remove the president and appoint investigators to look into allegations of corruption and misrule.
The petition submitted Sunday was signed by leaders of a four-party opposition coalition including two former presidents, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed.
The petition asked the court to appoint a committee to investigate and report on the corruption allegations against President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. His office did not immediately comment Monday.
The opposition said it moved to the courts because the Parliament, which has the power to remove the president, is virtually dysfunctional after 12 lawmakers were removed from their positions when they announced support for an opposition move to oust the speaker.
The opposition released a statement late Sunday that accused Yameen of "unjust enrichment from appropriation of state properties and funds for personal benefit" and violating the rights and constitutional freedoms of the Maldivian people.
The Maldives, known for its luxury island resorts, became a multiparty democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule. But it has lost many of its democratic gains since Gayoom was elected president in 2013.
Yameen has been accused of manipulating the judiciary and other state institutions to block opposition to his rule. Dozens of opposition politicians have been jailed, including a former vice president, a defense minister and a former presidential candidate, through trials criticized for a lack of due process.
However, his control over parliament has been threatened by the agreement between the two former presidents, his half brother, former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and the nation's first democratically elected leader, Nasheed.