Two lawmakers, who were recently declared to have lost their seats in Parliament, were arrested and eventually released during Monday’s conflict between opposition parliamentarians and Police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) over locking the parliament gates.
MNDF locked the gates to the parliament building early Monday, barring everyone from entering except staff of the parliament administration. The lockup, which is believed to have been imposed after opposition lawmakers declared earlier that they would enter the chambers despite the cancellation of Monday’s session, led to a long stand-off between the lawmakers and MNDF and Police during which several parliamentarians eventually forced past police barricades to enter the parliament building.
Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim and Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth were among the lawmakers that forcefully entered the parliament chambers. The two lawmakers were arrested later as MNDF and Special Operations police officers entered the building to remove the lawmakers. Police stated in a tweet that they entered the parliament in response to MNDF’s request for aid in removing the lawmakers, who no longer hold parliament seats, that broke into the building.
Police stated that MP Waheed and MP Ameeth were taken into custody as they entered the building though they have been ousted from their seats. The two lawmakers are also accused of being involved in breaking police lines and barricades.
The two ousted lawmakers have been since released.
Police added that the parliament administration had requested MNDF and Police to look into ousted lawmakers entering the parliament building as a very serious issue.
The Elections Commission recently announced that six lawmakers, out of the 45 that gave their signatures to submit the no confidence motion, have lost their seats in Parliament. Four of them filed at the Supreme Court last Thursday seeking to annul the commission’s decision. The top court confirmed Monday that the case has been accepted.
The four lawmakers are Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed and Villingili MP Saud Hussain in addition to MPs Waheed and Ameeth.