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MNDF can only restrain members to maintain peace on majlis floor with Speaker's permission: Ghassan

In response to a question inquiring why the army had stood by during the earlier parliament dispute, Defense Minister Ghassan stated that the army will act to restrain the members during altercations once the Speaker of Parliament provides such an instruction.

Aishath Shuba Solih
29 February 2024, MVT 07:35
During the dispute that occurred between members inside the parliament house on the 28th of last month
Aishath Shuba Solih
29 February 2024, MVT 07:35

Minister of Defense, Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon has stated that regardless of altercations between parliament members, MNDF officers can only touch a parliamentarian to suppress the dispute once permission is granted by the Speaker of the Parliament.

The parliament sittings held on the 28th of last month to approve Ministers for President Dr Mohamed Muizzu’s cabinet had prompted an altercation between state affiliated parliamentarians and opposition members.

The members had proceeded to assault each other inside the parliament house which resulted in various injuries that were further treated at the hospital.

While the Parliament Committee on National Security Services is presently investigating into whether MNDF officers had performed their responsibilities regarding the parliamentarian’s altercations outside and inside the parliament house on that day, Thulhaadhoo Constituency parliamentarian, Hisaan Hussein had inquired why MNDF officers had remained spectators during the conflict that was instigated at that day's parliamentary sitting while the situation was heated to a point the Speaker of Parliament was facing possible danger.

Addressing the question, Ghassan had responded that the duty of military officers to maintain the security of the Parliament Speaker generally concludes with the parliament. He further highlighted that in observation of previous cases, the army will take measures to manage the security of the parliament chambers only by the Speaker’s request.

“We (the army) will begin physically acting to suppress members inside the House once the Speaker of the Parliament directs such an instruction.” Ghassan said.

During the dispute that occurred between members inside the parliament house on the 28th of last month

Ghassan had further highlighted that the army had later acted to maintain the security of the House during the day of the previous altercation upon the request of the Speaker after the dispute escalated.

During this clash that ensued last month, the biggest altercation occurred between Kanditheemu MP Abdulla Shaheem and Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa when the former held Easa by his leg and pulled him down onto the floor. MP Shaheem had also sustained injuries on his head when the two parliamentarians fell near the chamber during the scuffle. Minority leader Moosa Siraj had attempted to stop the altercation.

However, following that, MP Easa and Shaheem had had another scuffle that resulted in serious injuries near MP Shaheem's ear when MP Easa had kneed him and pulled at his hair. Other parliamentarians had attempted to cease the struggle and Shaheem was transferred to the hospital via an ambulance to receive medical care.

Moreover, Mathiveri MP Hassan Zareer also sustained injuries on his finger. According to a parliamentarian, MP Zareer was injured during the scuffle between the members. Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef alleged that MP Zareer was attacked by members of MDP.

The Maldives Police Service has earlier stated that investigations are ensuing into the altercation of this day.