Opposition MPs met with Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muiz today to request criminal charges be pressed against MPs of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for bolting the chamber doors and “hijacking parliament” on July 13.
Speaking to press outside the Prosecutor General’s Office, MP Ahmed Mahlouf said that the opposition MPs considered the incident an “act of terrorism” and “a serious criminal offence.”
“In addition, because neither the army nor police took any action against MDP members protesting outside the parliament building, where gatherings are illegal, we also submitted that complaint,” he said.
He added that the MPs requested an investigation into MDP activists locking parliament gates with chains “as a serious issue.”
Speaking to Minivan News today, MP Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Mohamed Solih, parliamentary group leader of the ruling party, said that the opposition MPs’ decision to take matters up with the PG was “regrettable.”
“There are internal arrangements [within parliament] to deal with such matters,” he explained. “If there was an issue of privileges or ethics, we have a privileges committee and an ethics committee that can investigate [complaints].”
Ibu Solih insisted that there was no criminal element to the disturbances in parliament last week.
Z-DRP MPs Mahlouf, Ilham Ahmed, Ali Arif and Ahmed Nihan were joined at the meeting this afternoon by MPs of the minority opposition Jumhooree Party, People’s Alliance and Dhivehi Qaumee Party.
Mahlouf told reporters that “rocks and water bottles” hurled into the building caused harm to both MPs and officers of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
He claimed that PA MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla was hit by a rock while an MNDF officer’s eyes were “seriously hurt” by a projectile.
The DRP MP for Galolhu South noted that neither the MNDF nor police moved to offer protection to Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim “an hour and a half after the hijacking.”
“After the sitting finished, for the security forces to stand by and do nothing while the Deputy Speaker and MPs were hijacked in there is a very serious problem,” he said.
Asked if any MP was directly prevented from leaving the chamber that day, Mahlouf said that he “tried to get out [of the chamber] but couldn’t do it.”
“My grandmother was at the ICU at the time and I couldn’t go there,” he said. “We couldn’t even go to the toilet. We have videos of all of this and we have even shared some with the media.”