Speaker’s chair kicked out as lawmakers demand no confidence vote

Parliament speaker's chair placed outside the chambers.

Parliament speaker’s chair placed outside the chambers.

Opposition lawmakers are protesting in the parliament chambers as preparations began for the sitting scheduled for early Monday.

The chair of Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh have also been removed from the chambers and left outside on the premises. Lawmakers of the opposition coalition are declaring that Abdulla Maseeh cannot chair the sitting, as the opposition has filed a motion of no confidence against the speaker.

The motion of no confidence was filed by the opposition in a third attempt with 45 signatures, including ten from ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s lawmakers. However, after four parliamentarians who gave their signatures were declared to have lost their seats by the Elections Commission, the parliament had quashed the motion, stating that the number of valid signatures on the petition now fall short of the required minimum of 42.

The opposition coalition has refused to recognise the decision and opposition lawmakers are calling to hold the no confidence vote. Lawmakers are also demanding the release of four parliamentarians who are currently under arrest and detained from attending the session.

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) soldiers who are in charge of parliament security attempted to remove the lawmakers from the chambers during the protest, sparking conflict. Security forces have since halted attempts to evacuate.

Speaker Abdulla Maseeh is yet to enter the chambers.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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