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Trouble in Paradise Part III – Crackdown on the Opposition Continues in the Maldives!

There are more trouble at the high sea. In Male, Maldives, the President Abdulla Yameen and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM). Today, there we’re hold Court in secrecy where the Jumhooree Party leader Ibrahim Gasim to be sentenced for three years. There are even more MPs who has sentenced, since the President Yameen and his party really has an issue with the opposition, and their will to question the President. Therefore, he has attacked them and used the powers of office to silence them.  

As the Maldives Independent reports:

Officers from the Maldives Correctional Services meanwhile went to IGMH Friday afternoon to take custody of Gasim. According to lawyers, the criminal court has now lifted Gasim’s travel ban and the prisons authority has assured that arrangements will be made for his departure. The four-party opposition coalition has condemned Gasim’s jailing as “part of a relentless campaign of persecution” after the opposition secured a majority of parliament with defections from the ruling party last month. “The politically motivated charges and sentence were brazenly framed and fixed to strip MP Gasim Ibrahim of his Parliamentary seat,” the alliance said in a joint statement Friday. The opposition also highlighted “irregularities” noted by Gasim’s legal team, including the judge closing hearings to the media and the public, resuming the trial without preliminary hearings after the charges were resubmitted by the Prosecutor General’s office, and refusing to grant adequate time to prepare. The lawyers also noted that the prosecution only submitted excerpts from Gasim’s speech as evidence and failed to produce any witnesses to testify. “The sentencing of MP Gasim Ibrahim once again confirms the lack of transparency and independence of Maldives’ judiciary, and the breakdown of the entire criminal justice system,” reads the statement” (Maldives Independent, 2017).

It wasn’t only leader of Jumhooree leader Gasim who was sentenced during the day. There reports of 10 more Members of Parliament from the opposition. On of the news of Ahmed Mahloof MP, he was arrested while being interviewed by a journalist on Friday. This is while the Faris Maumoon MP is still lingering in jail. So the PPM and the President Yameen are really cracking down on the opposition.

Just take a look:

The Criminal Court on Thursday commenced trial proceedings of 12 opposition lawmakers over trespassing on parliament premises, issuing the official notice of the trial to the MPs. The opposition lawmakers are being charged with obstructing law enforcement officers for pushing past security barricades and forcefully entering the parliament building on July 24 despite the heavy army and police presence barring entry. This marks the first time for the state to prosecute such a high number of MPs simultaneously in a single case” (…) “The lawmakers charged with obstructing law enforcement officers are: Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Hithadhoo North Mohamed Aslam, Henveiru South MP Mohamed Abdul Kareem, Henveiru North MP Abdulla Shahid, Hithadhoo Central MP Ibrahim Mohamed Didi, Maafannu West MP Mohamed Falaah, Kendhoo MP Ali Hussain Kinbidhoo MP Abdulla Riyaz, Nolhivaram MP Hussain Areef, Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth, Villingili MP Saud Hussain, Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim” (…) “If convicted of the charge, the 12 MPs would face a jail sentence of four months and 24 days, but they will preserve their parliament seats” (Maldives Times, 2017).

So the opposition MPs are really under fire. The PPM are really wanting to get rid of the opposition. To take total control of the Parliament and the legislation. Because of this the people are reacting. Since the PPM are taking total control with force and misuse of power.

There are now reports that the opposition supporters and people are planning to demonstrate because of the crackdown on them. We should really worry about President Yameen, who are now fearing rule of law and justice. Since he cannot stand their possible votes in the Parliament. They cannot manage to have them there. The Parliament votes could oust speakers in the ‘No Confidence’. Therefore, the President are in fear of their powers and has to use his executive powers to silence them. Peace.

Reference:

Maldives Independent – ‘Gasim sentenced in absentia to three years, stripped of seat’ (25.08.2017) link:http://maldivesindependent.com/politics/gasim-sentenced-in-absentia-to-three-years-stripped-of-seat-132255

Maldives Times – ‘Court begins trial process of 12 opposition lawmakers’ (25.08.2017) link:https://maldivestimes.com/court-begins-trial-process-of-12-opposition-lawmakers/

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Maldives: PPM Statement – “Opposition’s disruptive antics in Parliament signal frustration at week-long failed efforts to incite violence on the streets of the Capital – PPM Secretary General” (31.07.2017)

Maldives: PPM Statement – “The People have moved on from violent and disruptive clan politics of yesteryears, to embrace rule-based, Progressive Democracy of President Yameen” (27.07.2017)

Maldives: Arbitary Arrests, Use of Excessife Force, Violence against Journalists, Members of Parliament and the Public and Disregard for Legal Bounderies by the Maldives Police Service (27.07.2017)

Trouble in Paradise Part II: the Assault on Democracy in Maldives continues the day before Independence Day!

The crisis in Male in the Maldives continues today, even as the Independence day are tomorrow, President Yameen will bask in glory together with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He has come to the island republic in the midst of turmoil, as the Majlis or the Parliament are blocked by the Army and the Police. Maldivian National Defense Forces (MNDF) took charge after orders from Majlis Secretariat, the same claim has the Maldives Police Service. Therefore, the President Yameen fear for lose of legitimate power and claim to rule is the reason for the fallout.

That, the opposition parties tried to vote ‘No Confidence’ against a Presidential Ally in Parliament Speaker Maseeh. This is also because the opposition parties have a majority in the Parliament. Which means if they would have voted in the Majlis they could have won. This is something the leadership of the Maldivian Democratic Party and Jumhooree Party and other opposition parties can overpower the ruling party and President who has 44 of 85 seats. That is maybe why the PPM are planning to detain and arrest opposition MPs to get secured majority in the Majlis. Because, there are open orders of this.

So the other opposition parties can by the Interpretation Act of 2011 article 26: “Where an Act specifies that a particular matter shall be decided by a society, group, assembly or committee, unless the contrary intention appears in the Act, the decision shall be made by their majority”. This means that if there were an act, it has to have the majority.

Today the PPM are claiming it was a ploy, a failed vote and non-existence. PPM Ali Sharif spokesperson himself stated today: “Confronting the police, scaling the perimeter walls of the Parliament complex, bashing up woman journalists and circulating gross misinformation to the foreign press and diplomatic missions is irrefutable evidence of the opposition’s desperation. Such tactics prove that the opposition leaders themselves know and believe that they cannot unseat incumbent President Yameen in a free and fair election next year” (…) “There was no session of Parliament yesterday. They were notified that the next scheduled session will be held on 31st July. The agenda was shared privately and publicly. Attempting to hijack the parliament and promulgate violent scenes will not be tolerated” (…) “The PPM welcomes the measured response and steadfast resolve of the security forces in thwarting yesterday’s attempt of storming Parliament and plunging the country into chaos. Members of Parliament is not above the law” (PPM, 25.07.2017).

When MPs are arrested without warning and warrants, when the Parliament is stormed without any signal or warning of actions from the army and police. Than, clearly this was deliberated from the PPM. What is striking by the Spokesperson Sharif, is that he claims both private and publicly the MPs talked about the session yesterday, if was done in secret and without knowledge, wouldn’t all of it been done in private? This seem to be more conspiracy and making sure they can make the opposition criminals. Not to be honest about the situation. That the PPM are putting in the next election and saying no one can beat them is weird. When they cannot even handle a decent exercise in Parliament of a ‘No Confidence’ vote against the Speaker. Doesn’t add up Mr. Sharif or PPM.

President Yameen might think he was smart and wise sending the security operations to the Parliament and to barricade and block the Parliament. It is ironic that PPM takes about the laws and the MPs, when the President and the Army puts himself above the law. I’m also impressed by the talking about hijacking the Parliament, when the same party he represent sent the army to hostile takeover of the premises. The statement from Sharif is sort of backfiring. If the PPM had majority seats, they wouldn’t fear a vote or the opposition, but now they do. That is why the army came to parliament and went to clear the court.

They are now searching the Jumhooree Party headquarter after the Penal Code, and with the charges of Influencing Official Conduct, Obstruction Administration of Law or Other Government Functions and Rioting; Forceful Overthrow of Government! These are the charges the Police has put forward for the opposition party and reasons for arresting MPs. This shows the level of impunity done by the President and his PPM.

As the Mohamed Anil, the were a motion for a vote of ‘No Confidence’ towards the current Attorney General of the Maldives, but that one has been taken away by the Majlis Secretariat. This is so the PPM and President Yameen don’t need to use the army yet again to arrest and siege the Parliament. Because the President don’t want to lose to allies in cabinet and neither in the Parliament. Since he needs every Dick and Harry there is on the island. PPM seem to be unfit to carry themselves, as they cannot play fair.

President Yameen might think the Independence Celebration in basking glory of the Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif might help him to quell the demonstrations and the condemnation of the blatant assault on the representatives institution. Certainly, Yameen need some help and support, by become a real leader and man. Who can defend himself with words and legislation, not ordering the army and police whenever he is afraid. Peace.

Trouble in Paradise: President Yameen used the army and police to storm the Majlis to stop a ‘No Confidence’ vote against the Parliament Speaker!

There are trouble in paradise, one of them island republics part of the commonwealth and also a place which are getting more popular for vacations by westerners. This is the Maldives, where President Yameen and his Progressive Party are staging a hostile takeover. As they used the Police and the Army to blockade and with violent force clear the Parliament to stop a single against the Parliament Speaker Masheeh!

President Yameen must be giddy today, as the opposition party leaders and members are detained, as the Parliament got blocked by the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), who blocked the gates. The Police have barricade the Jumhooree Party’s Campaign Centre in Male, the capital of the Island Nation. The same has happen with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP),

The chaos appeared as the President and ruling party of Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of the Maldives. They blocked the Parliament because the opposition wanted to vote on a “No Confidence” vote towards the Abdulla Masheeh, but the authorities would not let that happen. At the Parliament MPs was taken by the soldiers, forcefully removed, tear-gassed and then later detained. Some was so hurt that they got hospitalized.

So today, the Majlis stated that the scheduled vote was not there, since the Parliament we’re not supposed to be gathered before on the 31st July after Independence celebration, but with all MPs already in the chambers and ready to be pray, the Press Release form the Majlis Secretariat seems a bit strange, as the MNDF we’re ready from the morning and then went to close the Jumhooree Party offices and the MDP. The disturbing clips of former speaker Abdulla Shahid out the Majli’s, proves the extent of President Yameen and the MNDF use of force to silence the opposition.

The understandable that the Opposition and Activist calls this a coup d’etat, as the army and the ruling party have blockaded the national assembly the Majlis, while they either get hurt or detained for being there. The elected MPs are taken and forcefully removed there, with no forewarning and with no direct public order. Therefore, the military in orders for the President has acted in disregard for the republic’s representatives in the Parliament. They came even with court warrants for the MPs who was there. This seemingly seems like a planned affair to take total control of the Majlis.

The Maldives Police in their statement has claimed, that they are investigating the obstructions done against the MPs, while like the Majlis Secretariat stated this: “The Parliament building was restricted access by the Government of the Maldives as the Parliament session for the 24 July 2017 was cancelled”, as they said their was contacted by the MNDF to intervene in the blockade of the Parliament. This is all what the authorities says, but both the Majlis Secretariat and Maldives Police Service seems a bit far fetched, as the preparation was already there. Just that the President and his party couldn’t accept being questioned by the opposition. Therefore, they had to send Soldiers and Police Officers to silence them.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union has answered these acts today with this statement: “The IPU is extremely concerned about the worsening political situation in the Maldives and the undue interference in the parliament’s work. The Organization reiterates its commitment to preserving the integrity of the People’s Majlis and protecting its members from reprisals for carrying out their parliamentary duties. Opposition MPs claim to have been subjected to a campaign of intimidation and coercion in the lead-up to a vote of no-confidence against the Speaker of the People’s Majlis. There has been recent legal action against three prominent MPs, including, opposition Jumhooree Party Leader, Qasim Ibrahim, who has been prevented from travelling abroad for medical care and is in a critical condition. In addition, six MPs have reportedly been stripped of their seats by the Elections Commission, a decision with apparently no legal basis. 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” (IPU, 24.07.2017).

It wasn’t only the IPU who has answered the attack on the Parliament. The Maldives Trade Union (MTU) wants action as well, when they wrote on social media: “We condemn the brutal intervention of MPs legal duty, by mndf and police, and call for nationwide civil disobedience” (MTU, 24.07.2017). They cannot be alone, as all of opposition has to muster to civil disobedience as the Parliament and the government using force against the democratic institutions.

Clearly, there is not only tensions between the parties in the Maldives. The PPM and President Yameen are misusing their power, when they have to storm the parliament and do what they did today. No nation deserves this sort of affairs. The Maldives and not anywhere else. President Yameen, must clearly feel insecure about himself and his authority, when he has to go this far and use guns to stop a single vote in the Majlis. Seems like he needs some questioning and also has to answer for his violation of the political order in the Maldives, together with the arrests of previous month like Faris Maumoon. The Maldivian politics will not be the same and the trouble in paradise is just one the rise. Unless, civil disobedience and demonstrations gets to the level that the people get rid of the President who has no issues with violating their elected officials!! Peace.

Maldives: People’s Majlis Secretariat Press Release (24.07.2017)

Maldives: Opposition Parties Condemn Unlawful Arrest of MP Faris Maumoon (17.07.2017)

Statement released by jailed Former Vice President of Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb, on the missing MMPRC funds (16.07.2017)

Economic Ministry press release on Al Jazeera’s recent defamatory documentary on Maldives (08.09.2016)

maldives-08092016

Al Jazeera uncovers evidence of corruption in the Maldives:

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