Majlis speaker swears in sergeant at arms

The People’s Majlis Speaker Abdulla Shahid has today sworn in former Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) officer Mohamed Haleem to the newly announced position of sergeant at arms.

The sergeant at arms is to oversee security of the Majlis premises – a task currently carried out by the MNDF.

The Majlis is also looking to hire two deputies and four assistants to the sergeant at arms and 100 security officers. Once the new security unit is established the MNDF will no longer oversee the security of the legislature.

The appointment of an independent Sergeant at Arms comes at a time when several MPs belonging to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are being tried for criminal charges.

The Criminal Court today sentenced MDP MP Hamid Abdul GHafoor to six months in jail for failure to attend a trial over an alleged refusal to provide urine.

The court has issued several arrest warrants, ordering the police to arrest Hamid and present him at court. The police were unable to do so, however, after Hamid took refuge inside the Majlis premises.

Hamid claims the trial is “politically motivated” and contends the Criminal Court scheduled hearings during Majlis work hours.

Article 11 of the Parliamentary Privileges and Powers Act says an MP cannot be summoned to court during Majlis sittings or parliamentary committee hearings.

The MDP and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) currently control a simple majority in parliament. The DRP decided to back the MDP after MDP’s Mohamed Nasheed gained 45.45 percent of the vote in the annulled first round of presidential elections on September 7.

The MDP has condemned the judiciary’s attempts to “purge” its MPs.

On October 24, the Supreme Court stripped MDP MP Ali Azim and DRP MP Mohamed Nashiz of their seats over decreed debt. However, the Parliamentary Privileges Committee said they do not accept the Supreme Court’s “politically motivated” verdict and said Azim and Nashiz’s parliamentary membership continues.

When Azim attempted to attend a Majlis sitting on October 26, the MNDF blocked entry. Shortly afterwards, officers clad in combat fatigues stormed the Majlis and removed Azim from its premises, and handed him over to police officers waiting outside.

Azim is currently in police custody on charges of assaulting a police officer.

Speaker Shahid has condemned the MNDF’s actions stating that the MNDF are to follow his orders within the Majlis premises.

Article 4 of parliamentary regulations read: “Unless otherwise explicitly stated in the Constitution or laws, the Majlis building, hall, the pathways and corridors leading to the hall within the Majlis premises and the Majlis courtyard is under the control and orders of the Majlis Speaker.”

Three MDP MPs are currently on trial, while police have asked the PG to prosecute four additional MDP MPs.

MP Ali Waheed is on trial for disobedience to order for crossing a police barricade, while Hamid and Abdulla Jabir are on trial for alleged alcohol and drug abuse.

Police are charging MPs Alhan Fahmy, Imthiyaz Fahmy, and Mohamed Rasheed with contempt of court for criticizing the Supreme Court, and MP Ibrahim Rasheed with assaulting a police officer.

The MDP notes corruption charges against several government aligned MPs have been dropped since the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.


9 thoughts on “Majlis speaker swears in sergeant at arms”

  1. why is is this news?
    Is this guy a political appointee or a political appointee though covert means?
    What is a Sergeant at Arms? Normally Sergeant at Arms are found in Toastmasters clubs.

  2. Majlis member or not laws have to be implemented equally on all Maldivians, thus I totally support the MNDF and Police in their efforts to apprehend the law-mocking MP's of the majlis !

  3. Good move. The Majlis finally gets its own security force. Gone will be the days when politicised para-military types can barge into the Majlis. Well done Shahid.

  4. Law mocking MPs only seem to be existing in MDP. All others are saints...

  5. @Zax
    You are out of your mind and poorly knowledged. Do you what your mum cooked for lunch today?? You are one of them moron

  6. When Lance Armstrong and Maradonda dope they get penalized even when they are national legends

    But when a Maldives MP dope, he gets
    a) physical protection from Majlis againt arrest
    b) the mails procedure get immediately amended in his favour
    c) even a security force and a Sergent at Ass is hired

    True mockery of parliament

  7. I wish Mr. Haleem all the best. He was an engineer at MNDF with minimal exposure to security operations.

  8. @Mockery:

    The issue is not so much the prosecution of those despicable individuals that we saw fit to represent us in Parliament.

    The issue lies with selective justice. A trial at the Criminal Court was begin against MP Ahmed Mahloof for disobedience to order. The case has not been concluded to this very day.

    So why MDP MPs and why now? The answer is very simple. Let me break it down for you.
    - While the President's seat may become vacant on Nov 11, President Waheed has asked Parliament to make interim arrangements if a new President is not elected by then.
    - MDP has a simple majority in Parliament therefore by refusing to amend the Constitution they can appoint a head of government of their own choosing if the situation arises.
    - Pro-government parties want to deny MDP their majority in Parliament.
    - There were several cases involving MDP MPs under investigation, at court or just merely waiting to be found.
    - The Supreme Court has consistently rule in ways that clearly benefit government-aligned parties.

    So just add two and two and tell me if Abdulla Shahid is any worse than the people pulling the strings on the other side?


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