MPs belonging to the government aligned Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), and one MP of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), trashed People’s Majlis Speaker Abdulla Shahid’s office this afternoon.
According to Majlis secretariat staff who witnessed the scene, the MPs led by DQP MP Riyaz Rasheed and MDP MP Abdulla Jabir first shattered a picture frame and broke the name board outside the Speaker’s office. They then broke through the security system on the door, entered the office, damaged furniture and a laptop on the Speaker’s table.
Shahid was not present in the office at the time.
In addition to Riyaz and Jabir, PPM MPs Ahmed Amir, Ali Arif, Thimarafushi,Ahmed Shareef, Ahmed Saleem, and Mohamed Rafeeq Hassan participated in the vandalism, the secretariat staff said.
The attack comes after the Majlis’ Sergeant at Arms Mohamed Haleem told Housing Minister Mohamed Muizz to leave the parliament building. Muizz had come to the Majlis to attend the parliament’s Finance Committee, of which Jabir is the chair.
The Majlis secretariat issued a statement today saying those summoned to the Finance Committee had been summoned in violation of the parliamentary committee procedures and hence had been asked to leave.
Jabir was the only MP who had attended the Finance Committee. He had summoned the entire cabinet to the committee, but Muizz was the only minister who had attended.
According to parliament regulations, the majority of a committee must agree to summon any individual to a committee. But such a motion was not passed by the Finance Committee.
According to local media, after Muizz was sent away, Jabir called and threatened Shahid that he would remove him from the position of Majlis Speaker.
“If you challenge me and do things that way, today will end very badly,” Jabir told Shahid, local newspaper Sun has reported.
Jabir is currently facing criminal charges for possessing and consuming alcohol. If found guilty, he may lose his seat.
The attack comes on the day of the end of the current presidential term. The Majlis in October passed a resolution authorising the Speaker to assume the presidency in the absence of a president elect.
However, the Supreme Court on Saturday struck down the motion and has declared President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s administration will continue until a new president is elected.
Waheed has declared he will continue in his position until the second round of presidential elections are held on November 16.