Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed has said the party will put forward a no-confidence motion against Home Minister Mohamed Shihab, after police detained Waheed and several other senior party figures in an effort to defuse violent clashes between the supporters of both parties on Thursday night.
”We decided to take the no-confidence motion against Shihab because he used his powers and influence against the law,” Waheed said, adding that details would be provided tomorrow.
Waheed alleged that when the situation in Male’ broke the peace of the country on Thursday night, “Shihab was relaxing in a nearby resort.”
He said the party had received information “from a trusted source” that President Mohamed Nasheed gave the order to police that night to arrest the senior party leaders.
”The police have no powers, they only have to take orders from their leader,” he said.
However the President’s Office said yesterday that the government had full confidence in police and “absolutely no involvement” in the decision to remove the DRP leaders from the protest.
But Waheed claimed that the police “cannot arrest MPs while a no-confidence motion is ongoing inside parliament.”
”The police lied to us, saying that they were taking us to police head quarters to calm down the situation,” he said. ”Instead they took us to Dhoonidhu and took our mobile phones, and treated us just like the other criminals there.”
Vice president of DRP Umar Naseer said that there were “many things” the Home Minister had done, including “attacking peaceful protesters with tear gas.”
”He arrested MPs while there was a ongoing no-confidence motion in the parliament which is against the law, did not stopped MDP thugs attacking us, and did not enforce the law,” Naseer said.
He also claimed that President Mohamed Nasheed was “giving the orders to police that night”, claiming the party had obtained the information “because 90 per cent of the police and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) support the DRP.”
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair confirmed that President Mohamed Nasheed went to the police headquarters on Thursday night, “but not to give orders.”
”He went there because he is the owner of all the powers – police and MNDF,” Zuhair said, ”but the Commissioner of Police was the one giving the orders.”
Zuhair claimed that the opposition was trying to take no-confidence motion against ministers “one by one” to delay more productive bills sent to the parliament by the government.
”Countries with civil wars pass more bills in parliament than the Maldives does,” Zuhair said.
He said the opposition “is jealous and cannot accept their failure.”
”They are trying to show the people that they still have powers,” he suggested.
MDP’s parliamentary group spokesperson Mohamed Shifaz said the party would stand against the no-confidence motion on the home minister as ”we have not noticed home minister doing anything against the law.”
He said the party’s parliamentary group would continue to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) released a statement appealing to the police to respect laws and to treat everyone equally when they work to disperse crowds.
HRCM said that ”political parties meetings are interrupted due to differences among people on political issues.”
The commission said it had noticed that regulations governing the dispersal of protests “are not being applied equally among everyone”, and that Article 32 of the Constitution guaranteed ”freedom to gather peacefully without prior permission from the government.”
Home Minister Mohamed Shihab and State Minister for Home Affairs Ahmed Adil did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.