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.