Police have arrested five men for allegedly obstructing police while they were trying to open to the roads closed by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters in protest over the cancellation of presidential elections by police on Saturday.
In a statement police said they had opened all the roads that were closed by the MDP.
Police said that they had previously warned people who closed the roads to refrain from acting in a way that would disrupt transportation and people who walked on the roads.
Police noted that in some of the areas people were cooperative and removed the things they had used to block the roads after being warned.
However, police said people gathered on Majeedhee Magu in between Alikileygefaanu Magu and Chandhanee Magu did not listen to police warnings to open the roads, and that they had to forcibly open the road.
Two of the five were arrested on charges of obstructing police duty and objecting to police order, while another was arrested for hitting a police officer with a stone. Another was arrested for threatening police.
According to police, the officer who was hit by a stone was admitted to the hospital after receiving injuries to his leg. He has since been discharged.
MDP protesters started gathering on Majeedhee Magu near the Male’ City Hall building after the second attempt by the Elections Commission (EC) to hold presidential elections was obstructed by police on Saturday.
The first round of the presidential election, held on 7 September, was invalidated by the Supreme Court based on a report made by the police. The was filed submitted by the JP, with the court subsequently ordering that the first round be re-held before October 20.
With the ruling, the court also issued a guideline consisting of 19 points which the EC was obliged to comply with. The guidelines require the EC to obtain the signatures from all the candidates to ensure that they do not have any issues with the voter registration list.
While the EC was making the final preparations to hold the elections for the second time on October 19, the government aligned political parties refused to sign the voter lists as required by new Supreme Court guidelines.