Maldives to implement death penalty despite FM's resignation

Male: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has said that he would go ahead with implementing the death penalty, an official said. Abdul Gayoom made the announcement on Tuesday hours after Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon decided to resign over the stand taken by the president, Xinhua news agency reported. While addressing the nation to mark Eid ul-Fitr celebrated by the Muslims on Wednesday, the president said his administration had seen three vice presidents and as many defence ministers as well as several changes in cabinet positions. The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) was the largest political movement in the nation and this was a time for the party to come together, rather than slide back to the uncertainty of four years ago, and to deliver on meaningful change for the nation to move forward through clear dialogue and mutual counsel, Gayoom said. Speaking on the implementation of the death penalty, Gayoom said while he moved forward with a heavy heart and with scrutiny from the international community, he was steadfast in his belief that it served the greater good for the safety and protection of society. He said the country was facing added international scrutiny because of leaders of political parties being sentenced by the courts, and that while the administration cannot and should not influence the judiciary, that justice should not elude those with higher influence. Acknowledging that it was the duty of every leader to bring happiness and progress to the people, Abdul Gayoom said his intention of taking office was not to challenge other leaders but to face and deliver on the challenges to the nation.