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Parliament session halted over Nasheed's refusal to discuss alleged sex tapes of MPs

27 June 2022, MVT 12:45
Opposition members standing in front of the Parliament Speaker Nasheed to protest the refusal to accept the emergency motion submitted -- Photo: Parliament
27 June 2022, MVT 12:45

Opposition parliament members started to protest in the parliament session on Monday when Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed refused to accept the emergency motions submitted regarding the sex tapes circulating on social media, which allegedly features certain parliament members.

Starting the parliament session, Nasheed said they have received two emergency motions regarding the videos and photos currently circulating around social media. He said there was no room for them to accept the issue though.

The reason he provided was that as the police has not been able to yet ascertain the validity of the images, the parliament cannot discuss the matter further on the assumption that it is valid.

"I do not believe the regulations and culture in Maldives allows for any state institution to discuss this matter when the chain of custody of the photo, or the origin source of the photo is uncertain, as doing so would lead to stripping the dignity of another person," Nasheed had said in Dhivehi.

He had then requested to proceed to the next item on the agenda; questioning Minister for National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure, Mohamed Aslam, by PM for Naifaru constituency Ahmed Shiyam.

However, Shiyam had expressed disappointment and concern over the Speaker not accepting the emergency motion he had submitted. He had said it was worrying that the parliament would refuse to discuss matters that concerns the public, until they get a confirmation from the police.

Nasheed proceeded to request repeatedly to go forward as stated in today's agenda. Shiyam had refused and started to protest.

Upon Shiyam's refusal to follow the agenda, Nasheed turned to the second item on the agenda; PM for Maavashu constituency Mohamed Saeed to question Minister Aslam. Saeed is a member of the opposition party People's National Congress (PNC).

Saeed too refused to question Minister Aslam, stating the parliament session was not conducted fairly.

Five opposition MPs including Saeed then came before the administrative desk of the parliament chamber to protest. They did not allow the work of the parliament to be carried out in any way today.

Nasheed then made the decision to halt today's parliament session.

Opposition MPs have called on the government to investigate and stop and take immediate action against those who committed atrocities against Islamic law, regarding the photographs and videos circulating online, which allegedly feature them in sexual acts with same sex partners.

One of the circulating videos allegedly include Nazim Sattar, younger brother of Parliament Speaker Nasheed, having sex with a foreign man. Police have seized Nazim's passport and is investigating the matter.

Parliament requests to be informed if MPs are investigated by Police

Speaker Nasheed had requested Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed to inform the parliament if any member was being summoned to the police for any case, according to a letter sent by the Secretary General of the Parliament Fathimath Niusha.

The regulations state that the parliament has to be informed only if a parliament member is arrested. They do not need to be informed if they are being investigated.

Nasheed made this request since MPs have been summoned for questioning. An investigation has been launched into a nude photo of a man believed to be South Henveiru MP Hussain Shaheem.

While these cases are ongoing, Nasheed has spoken in defense of the MPs on a WhatsApp group of the ruling party Maldives Democratic Party (MDP).

The photo, which started circulating on social media on Friday, allegedly shows Shaheem with a woman and a man, in bed. They all appear to be nude.

Regarding this matter, police has said they were currently investigating a series of blackmail attempts made using the leaked photographs and videos. No further details regarding the issue has been disclosed.