Parliament sitting proceeds with security officers

Today’s sitting of parliament proceeded with speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed surrounded by People’s Majlis security personnel.

Maseeh was forced to adjourn yesterday’s sitting after opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs approached the speaker’s desk and screamed into his mic.

The parliament secretariat also resumed providing a live feed of the sitting to television stations this morning, after ceasing the popular service when opposition MPs began protesting in the chamber on March 2.

However, the speaker continued proceedings while debates were inaudible to the viewing gallery due to the disorder. The speaker did not invoke authority under parliamentary regulations to order the sergeant-at-arms to expel disruptive MPs.

Earlier this week, changes proposed by speaker Maseeh to the parliamentary rules to ban horns, sirens and megaphones were approved by the pro-government majority.

During today’s debate on amendments to the import-export law, MDP MPs surrounded ruling coalition MPs and held up placards calling for the release of imprisoned opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed.