Police call for more responsible demonstrations

Police have today requested that supporters of both the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) respect social standards when conducting political demonstrations.

It was explained in a statement released today that police have written to both MDP Chair ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, and PPM leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to urge the parties to observe the regulations set out in the Peaceful Protest Act.

“The document went on to state that since these were the days of the O/Level exams for many students, the demonstrations and rallies being held all over Male’ with sound systems on pickups or megaphones were disruptive and that the Maldives Police Service has been receiving complaints about the situation,” read today’s statement.

Concern was also expressed regarding the potential disruption to traffic, pedestrians and local businesses. Police also noted that demonstrations outside of individual’s homes was prohibited.

Local media reported that two MDP supporters were detained on Saturday (October 28) as the two parties conducted protests in close proximity to the residence of the Speaker of the Majlis, MDP MP, Abdulla Shahid.

The Majlis yesterday approved a motion to ensure Shahid will assume the presidency should no president-elect be chosen before the the end of the constitutionally specified presidential term on November 11.

The PPM member of parliament boycotted the vote.

Supporters of the MDP occupied the length of Male’s Majeedhee Magu for two evenings following the delay of the scheduled presidential election on October 19 – actions labelled by the police as irresponsible.