MP Nihan questions motives of opposition lawmakers who tried to enter the parliament

PPM parliament majority leader and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan speaks at PPM press conference. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

PPM parliament majority leader and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan speaks at PPM press conference. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan has questioned the authority of the parliamentarians who attempted to get inside the People Majlis building on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some of the members who attempted to enter the Majlis premises include the 12 lawmakers who were recently reinstated by the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling earlier this month, which also freed nine high-profile political prisoners.

The members were near the house of parliament to raise concerns about the delays in commencing the parliament sessions for this year.

The first session of parliament must be held during the first week of February, according to the Constitution. However, after the declaration of state of emergency – which is still in effect – it was declared that the parliament opening would be delayed, due to security reasons.

Nihan had previously stated that the parliament would commence only after the state of emergency has been lifted.

While the Supreme Court had ordered the reinstatement of these lawmakers in its ruling on February 1, MP Nihan had contradictorily said at a press conference held Wednesday, that the MPs “must stay put until matters are resolved.”

After a state of emergency was declared and two Supreme Court Justices were arrested, the remaining three Judges had revoked the order to release all the political prisoners; however, the ruling to reinstate the legislators still remains.

MP Nihan went on to say that the members went to enter the parliament knowing that they would not be allowed in. If the opposition truly wanted to raise their concerns, they have the option of writing to the relevant bodies, he added.

He alleged that these are orchestrated publicity stunts to circulate pictures in the media.

Kelaa MP Ali Areef supported MP Nihan’s comments and said that he had not been allowed to enter the parliament even though he was a member of the ruling party. MP Areef said that this proves that the defence forces are not biased, and said that he chose not to raise any issues because they were simply being respectful of the law.

Some of the opposition parliamentarians were seen on Wednesday trying enter the premises of the parliament by going over its gates. However, soldiers placed near the house of parliament had removed them from the premises.

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