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Opposition members unable enter parliament, says will consult with President to find solution

21 June 2023, MVT 14:12
Some opposition MP's outside parliament
21 June 2023, MVT 14:12

The opposition members were unable to enter the Maldives parliament to protest against the current political limbo caused by the suspension of parliamentary sittings as they had previously intended.

The lack of a presiding chair resulted in the cancellation of scheduled sittings for Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Opposition MPs made an announcement on Tuesday expressing their intention to enter the parliament to oppose the situation. However, People's National Congress (PNC) Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed tweeted that he was unable to enter the parliament hall as it had been locked.

It is common for the parliament hall to be locked on days when there are no scheduled parliamentary sittings taking place.

Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef has expressed his intention to meet with Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed and Parliament Secretary General Fathimath Niusha in order to find a resolution to the current issue.

“We have also decided to go to the President's Office to meet the President [Ibrahim Mohamed Solih] to find a solution,” former Defense Minister Adam Shareef said.

The opposition has accused the government of intentionally halting the parliament proceedings in order to prevent the opposition from holding the government accountable.

The no-confidence motion against Speaker Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla was initiated by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

The last three sittings were chaired by Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef as both Speaker Nasheed and Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla declined to preside over the sittings due to the ongoing no-confidence motions against them. In the absence of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, another member is allowed to preside over three consecutive sessions as per the parliamentary regulations.

Speaker Nasheed said that he does not believe that the parliament can continue its sittings. He said the deadlock would be removed by withdrawing one of the two no-confidence motions. Nasheed expressed his skepticism about the parliament's ability to continue its sittings amidst the ongoing deadlock. He said that the deadlock could be resolved by withdrawing one of the two no-confidence motions against him and Deputy Speaker Eva.

The Secretary General of Parliament sent a public letter to Speaker Nasheed, outlining suggestions on how to proceed with the no-confidence motion against him and Deputy Speaker Eva. However, Nasheed has not taken action based on the suggestions provided. Instead, he suggested that President Solih could resolve the issue.

However, MDP insists on the resumption of parliamentary sitting.