Maldives, July 24 (newsin.asia) – Maldives Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Moosa Maniku, on Monday denied reports that the military had taken over the country’s parliament and said security had been called in only to clear a group of protesting legislators.
Speaking to newsin.asia, Maniku said Parliament was not in session on Monday due it being a holiday, but a group of opposition legislators had made their way into the parliament premises in order to call for a no confidence motion against the Speaker.
He alleged that in order to protect the parliament, security had been called in to remove these legislators and things had returned to normal.
“Parliament will resume on July 31 as right now we are on holiday. The military has not been called in to take over the parliament. The opposition legislators who broke in were removed from the premises and things are back to normal,” Maniku said.
The Deputy Speaker further condemned the alleged forceful entry of the opposition parliamentarians and said this was done by some to tarnish the image of the government and the country.
Meanwhile, the Maldives Police in a statement said it was investigating a case of obstruction of police duty against a group of parliamentarians who they alleged, broke into the restricted area around the Parliament building, which had been cordoned off by the police.
“The Parliament building was restricted access by the Government of Maldives as the parliament session for July 24 was cancelled,” the Police said.
It added that the Maldives Police Service was requested by the Maldives National Defense Force to intervene in clearing out individuals who forcefully entered the Parliament building.
The opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) headed by former President Mohamed Nasheed on Monday alleged that several opposition parliamentarians broke through the military cordon only to be pepper sprayed and evicted.”On Monday morning the gates of the parliament were padlocked by members of the armed forces and MPs were forcibly prevented from entering the parliamentary compound,” the opposition party said in a statement.
Parliament had been expected to hear a no-confidence motion against the speaker, Abdulla Masheeh, but MPs found their way blocked, the Maldivian Democratic Party said.