Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) on Tuesday barred a group of opposition lawmakers from entering the parliament house.
The opposition MPs headed to the parliament to determine when the first sitting of this year would be held.
While the lawmakers were allowed to enter the compound, they were barred from entering the building by five MNDF officers guarding the house.
Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth described the situation as the military “sieging” the parliament, stating that the lawmakers were simply trying to carry out their lawful mandate.
“The parliament speaker, Abdulla Maseeh, is inside. If he can enter, so can we,” said Ameeth, warning that the military would face action for such acts someday.
The first parliament sitting of the year, which was scheduled for February 5 as per the Constitution, was cancelled due to security reasons after the landmark ruling by Supreme Court at the beginning of this month calling for the release of nine political leaders and to reinstate 12 “unseated” parliamentarians. The government had announced a 15-day state of emergency on February 5, calling off the sitting.
However, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) had earlier said that the parliament could commence as soon as the government lifted the state of emergency.