Maldives parliament impeaches Vice President Ahmed Adeeb

A aerial view of the island of Male, the capital of the Maldives.
A aerial view of the island of Male, the capital of the Maldives. PHOTO: AFP

MALE, Maldives (AFP) – The Maldivian parliament voted on Thursday (Nov 5)  to impeach Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, who is under arrest over an alleged attempt to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen.

All 61 legislators present in the assembly voted to remove Adeeb, who was arrested last month in connection with a Sept 28 blast aboard Yameen’s speed boat. The other 24 legislators were absent.

The assembly rushed through the impeachment of Adeeb, 33, shortly after the Yameen-controlled parliament rubber-stamped the imposition yesterday of a state of emergency on the nation of 340,000.

It was not immediately clear if Adeeb had an opportunity to defend himself against the impeachment, as he remains detained on a prison island some distance from the capital.

Addressing the nation soon after Adeeb’s arrest, Yameen justified the move saying it was carried out “for the safety and security of the nation”.

The state of emergency also cleared the way for fast-tracking Adeeb’s impeachment, the second in just under four months.

The president sacked his previous deputy, Mohamed Jameel, on July 22 after accusing him of treason while he was still abroad.

Jameel, who was Yameen’s running mate at the controversial Nov 2013 election, is still on the run after the president accused him of trying to topple the government.

The Maldives has been in political turmoil since the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to step down following a mutiny in February 2012.