The parliament administration proclaimed late Monday that it was their request that soldiers of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) obstructed lawmakers from entering the parliament building and forcefully removed the members that broke in earlier that day.
MNDF had locked the gates to Parliament early Monday and held back lawmakers from entering the chambers. Some parliamentarians that forced their way past police barricades and lines to enter the building were forcefully removed by MNDF and Special Operations police officers.
In a statement regarding the incident, parliament administration highlighted that certain lawmakers had earlier raised the call to enter the parliament on Monday despite the sitting originally scheduled for that day being cancelled with the next session slotted for the coming week. The parliament administration claimed that it had thus requested MNDF to strengthen the parliament’s security to prevent any unlawful actions inside the chambers.
The parliament administration further stated that upon receiving information that some lawmakers had forcefully entered the parliament building and were acting unlawfully, it had appealed security forces to take the relevant actions against them. The statement noted that MNDF is charged with the security of Parliament and will continue to do so in future.
However, the administration did not specify the involvement of Police, who had also entered the parliament building to remove lawmakers.
While the parliament admin has claimed that MNDF acted as per the former’s requests on Monday, the parliament’s Secretary General Ahmed Mohamed declared that the statement was released without his knowledge or leave.
Responding to Mihaaru’s inquiry regarding the statement that was released only with the parliament’s letterhead without stamp or signature, Ahmed Mohamed stated late Monday that he was unaware of the statement and had not seen it.
The Secretary General claimed that he was only aware of MNDF informing the parliament that no one sans admin staff would be allowed inside the building on Monday. He said that he did not know details of MNDF’s actions before and after they entered the parliament building nor who had ordered MNDF to lock all the gates to the grounds.
Some lawmakers sustained various injuries during the long stand-off between them and MNDF and Police. Meanwhile, some foreign bodies have raised concerns over the conflict and heightening political tensions in the Maldives.