Maldives rebuffs claims of military takeover of parliament

Police officers obstruct lawmakers from entering parliament grounds. PHOTO/MIHAARU

Police officers obstruct lawmakers from entering parliament grounds. PHOTO/MIHAARU

The government released a statement late Monday refuting claims that the parliament has been taken over by the military.

The press statement released by the President’s Office stated that Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and Maldives Police Service, who obstructed lawmakers from entering the parliament building on Monday, had acted upon the request of parliament administration.

Referring to the statement of the Parliament Secretariat, the government stated that no voting was scheduled to be conducted on July 24, which all lawmakers were informed of by the Parliament Secretariat on  the day before. Due to security reasons over the period coinciding with the 52nd Independence Day celebrations and an upcoming VVIP visit, lawmakers were informed that the next sitting will be held July 31 until which no Parliamentary Committee meetings will be held.

Moreover, the President’s Office claimed that it was the Parliament Secretariat, in its statement, who had requested MNDF to strengthen security measures in the parliament building and its premises due to security concerns.

“The special measures taken by the security forces at the parliament building on July 24, 2017, were to ensure the security and safety of the premises, as mandated by Article 105 of the Constitution,” stated the President’s Office.

While the statement urged media outlets to responsibly verify information before disseminating it to the public, the government reiterated that utmost priority is attached to ensuring the security and safety of all Maldivian citizens.

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