Legal Politics

Maldives rebuts parliament “siege” rumours, asserts lockup was for national security

Opposition lawmakers in front of parliament doors guarded by MNDF

Opposition lawmakers in front of parliament doors guarded by MNDF

Ministry of Defence on Sunday finally issued an official statement regarding the lockup of Parliament last week, proclaiming that security was strengthened around the premises to prevent actions that could undermine national security, and not for a military siege of the parliament as claimed by rumours.

In a statement rebuffing claims that the military had unlawfully locked the gates to Parliament premises and obstructed opposition lawmakers from entering last Monday, the defence ministry declared that security of parliament premises was strengthened on official request from the parliament administration.

The ministry noted that opposition lawmakers had decided to hold a session on June 24, Monday despite the parliament’s earlier announcement that no sittings would be held from June 24-31. The police had issued a warning then that to hold a sitting on Monday would be unlawful.

The statement further highlighted that the Constitution mandates security services to protect and guard democratic institutions, as well as protect the nation’s sovereignty, regional security, Constitution and institutions, and enforce the law and maintain peace.

Slamming the circulating buzz that the military had attempted to lay siege to the parliament as “propaganda” to defame the armed forces, the defence ministry declared that spreading such false accusations is a low act to destroy the people’s trust in the forces, incite tension and dispute within and outside of the nation, and to incite fear. The ministry condemned the action, describing it as unpatriotic and aimed to besmirch the Maldives in the eyes of the world.

While the Constitution states that the security of Parliament must be overseen by the appointed institution which is Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), the forces that removed the lawmakers that broke into parliament premises by forcing through barricades and scaling the walls were Special Operations police officers. Whereas Maldives Police Service have stated that the SO officers were dispatched on request of MNDF, the defence ministry did not explain in its statement why the military had requested Police aid to remove the lawmakers.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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