Maldives Parliament lockdown: Military acted on request, says parliament secretariat
MNDF soldiers seen inside the Maldivian parliament during Monday's lock down. (@Raajje_tv) Photograph: (Twitter)
People’s Majlis Secretariat or the parliament secretariat of the Maldives has claimed in a statement that Monday’s military lockdown in its premises was within legal bounds and the Maldives National Defence Force was acting on a request to “thwart any unconstitutional or unlawful acts”.
“Upon receiving credible reports that some Honourable Members and political activists had broken through a police cordon, scaled the perimeter walls of the Majlis and engaged in unconstitutional and unlawful acts in the confines of the People’s Majlis, security forces were instructed to ensure that law and order was restored and additional measures taken to guard against further unlawful acts in the Majlis. These instructions were issued in accordance with Majlis Rules of Procedure to ensure speedy restoration of law and order and to ensure that the security arrangements in the Majlis are not comprise,” the statement read.
In the statement, the parliament secretariat said the no-confidence motion was not included in the agenda for July 24 at any point and on July 20 the Deputy Speaker of the Majlis had notified the MPs that the no-confidence motion against the speaker had been adjudged as invalid.
The secretariat went on to say that there were enhanced security arrangements in the Maldivian capital of Male due to Independence Day celebrations and the lawmakers were notified that no sessions or committees of the parliament would be scheduled between July 23 and July 31.
“In spite of the clear and methodical processes that had been followed in recent days, some elements had called for direct action on 24 July, under the guise of parliamentary procedures. These actions were in gross violation of the Constitution, governing laws and Majlis Rules of Procedure.” the parliament secretariat said.
President Abdulla Yameen’s office cited the Parliament Secretariat’s statement and said that the MNDF took steps to “ensure the security and safety of the premises”.
“The Government of Maldives refutes claims made by some media outlets that the Parliament has been taken over by the Military.” the president’s office added.
Meanwhile, Maldives Independent reported that the organisation of national legislatures, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, on Monday expressed concern over opposition lawmakers being “subjected to a campaign of intimidation and coercion” ahead of the no-confidence vote.
“The IPU is deeply worried that these actions are seemingly intended to take away the small majority in Parliament that wanted to dismiss the Speaker in today’s vote of no-confidence, which was thwarted as a result,” the organisation said in a statement, Maldives Independent reported.
Maldives military on Monday took over the country's Parliament and barred lawmakers from entering the building in a bid to stop the impeachment of Speaker and the President's close ally Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed over allegations of corruption, mismanagement and rights abuses.
The no-confidence motion against the Speaker, supported by 45 of the Parliament's 85 lawmakers as per the Opposition, was to be taken up on Monday. The Opposition accuses the Speaker of blocking its requests to summon government officials accused of corruption.
The Maldivian army has locked down the country's parliament after the opposition vowed to move ahead with a vote against a key ally of President Abdulla Yameen. WION brings you more on this (WION)