Maldives President shuts Parliament

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Maldives lawmakers were locked out of Parliament on Monday after President Abdulla Yameen ordered it shut to prevent a vote to impeach his Speaker, the opposition said, in the latest turmoil to grip the troubled honeymoon islands. 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.

Party spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor added several opposition MPs 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. There was no immediate comment from the government.

The opposition this month secured enough support from government defectors to begin impeachment proceedings against the speaker, in a bid to wrest control of parliament from Yameen before presidential elections next year. The government has repeatedly tried to frustrate these efforts.- AFP