Pro-government MPs block the start of the parliament session on Sunday evening, 28 January 2024, which is the third attempt to conduct the approval of ministers that day. Photo/Majlis

Amid chaos in parliament, MDP calls for MPs protection

MDP also called on the relevant authorities to create and facilitate an environment in which MPs can fulfill their responsibilities.

29 January 2024

By Ahmed Mizyal

Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) has condemned the disruption of the parliament session by parliament members representing the ruling coalition on Sunday; sessions that were held to conduct a vote on approval of the cabinet ministers.

There was scuffling and brawling between the ruling PPM-PNC and the opposition MDP members, who attacked each other near the Speaker’s table and some members sustained various injuries.

The approval vote was originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Sunday afternoon. The issue heated up when the opposition MDP and Democrats' parliamentary groups passed a resolution not to approve some ministers.

Efforts were made to cast votes later on Sunday afternoon and evening. Despite three attempts to put up a vote in the parliament, pro-government lawmakers would not allow it. 

The MDP issued a press release on the matter, saying:

  • Approval of ministers is a responsibility of the Parliament under Article 129 of the Constitution

  • Government members not allowing to proceed on the vote to approve ministers is obstruction of the democratic process

Although it is the responsibility of the security services to ensure the safety and security of MPs, the MDP said MPs were threatened and stones were thrown into the parliament during the protests that went on in the green zone on Sunday.

MDP condemns the security services for not doing enough to ensure the safety and security of the parliament members, as was their job.

MDP also called on the 'relevant authorities' to create and facilitate an environment in which MPs can fulfill their responsibilities.

"The party believes that the security services should enforce the law, irrespective of whether it is government officials, who were protesting in the green zone, a protest that was organised by senior government officials," the party said in its statement.

Pro-government MPs gathered near the Speaker’s table repeatedly to halt the session and tried to remove Speaker Mohammed Aslam from his chair by blowing horns in his face. Videos circulating on social media showed MDP members trying to protect Aslam.

Several senior government officials and supporters have been protesting in the Parliament premises as well since this afternoon against the opposition's decision not to approve some ministers.

An extraordinary session of parliament has been scheduled for 11 am on Monday now, where they hope to take a vote on the approval of the cabinet.

As per the agenda of the public meeting:

  • The reviewed report of approval of ministers that was sent back to the committee will be reviewed and asked for vote

  • Vote on other issues that have reached the point of a vote.