Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has requested that opposition leaders send in letters individually if they want to free the former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is currently in self-exile after being sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Speaking at the membership acceptance ceremony for 400 new members joining the ruling party PPM, President Yameen said that he no longer has the power to free the ex-President Nasheed and it can only be done by changing the laws.
The President requested that the opposition leaders sent individual, signed letters expressing their desire to free the former President and requesting that changes be brought to the law to make it happen.
President Yameen said that the government is ready to come to the discussion table with those calling to better the country but they want to send someone to the table who has been sentenced by court.
The President said that no country wants to terrorists and people carrying out sentences to be part of official talks and it is the same with the Maldivian government.
The President said that he granting clemency is no longer an authority given to the President by the constitution and it can only be done by bringing changes to the law. And if the opposition leaders make request, the matter can be taken to the parliament through the PPM Parliamentary Group to see if there is support for such a change.
Aside from President Nasheed, a number of opposition leaders are currently in prison convicted of different charges.
And so the former Vice President, Ahmed Adheeb along with the President of Adhaalath Party, Ibrahim Abdulla and two former Defence Ministers, Mohamed Nazim and Tholâ€™hath Ibrahim are carrying out their sentences in prison.