The police yesterday summoned 22 people arrested in the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest on Sunday night to the Criminal Court. Fifteen persons were released under conditions and seven were given up to 10 days in pre-trial detention.
The protests erupted in response to the decision by Dr Mohamed Waheed to remain in the position of president after his constitutional term ended at midnight.
In a statement, police said that the 23 persons were arrested on charges of objecting to police orders, obstructing police duty, breaking police lines, and throwing objects such as stones and water bottles at police officers trying to control the protest.
Police said that 19 men and four women were arrested in the protest, with one woman being released without having been summoned to the court.
In the statement, police accused protesters of vandalising a traffic light on Sosun Magu and destroying a security camera in the Roashanee building.
Police said that the protesters threw stones and water bottles at police officers in the area close to where journalists were covering the protest.
It was also reported that protesters set ablaze a barricade on Sosun Magu and stopped two public buses, jumping into the bus, assaulting the driver and attempted to overturn the vehicle.
Police said a journalist was injured in the protest after being hit by an object thrown by the protesters. He was subsequently treated at ADK hospital and was released the same night.
On October 21, Waheed has said he did not want to stay on as president when his term expired.
“It is not in the best interest of this country if there is no elected president when the current presidential term ends on November 10. I do not want to stay in this position even a day beyond November 11,” Waheed told the press that time.
The Supreme Court verdict, which annulled the first round of election held on September 7, also said Waheed’s government should continue past November 11 if there is no president elect.
The Jumhooree Party (JP) and Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) have pledged their support to Waheed staying on, but former president and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed has called for Waheed to resign, allowing a transitional government under the Speaker of Parliament to oversee elections.
Minivan News understands that defence chiefs arrived at the President’s Office prior to Waheed’s address to the nation, initially scheduled for 10:30pm on Sunday. The address was delayed an hour, before Waheed appeared and said he would resign on November 16, the date scheduled for the delayed run-off vote.