Watch: Chaos ensues in Maldives Parliament over anti-India Muizzu govt

In an unprecedented turn of events on Sunday, a special session in the Maldives Parliament transformed into a scene of chaos and violence, with lawmakers engaging in physical altercations, including punches, hair-pulling, and kicks.

| Updated: 29 January, 2024 4:24 pm IST

NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented turn of events on Sunday, a special session in the Maldives Parliament transformed into a scene of chaos and violence, with lawmakers engaging in physical altercations, including punches, hair-pulling, and kicks. The session, originally convened to seek parliamentary approval for President Mohamed Muizzu’s cabinet ministers, spiraled into disorder as clashes erupted between members of the People’s National Congress (PNC) and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the ruling alliance, and the Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

The shocking turn of events dealt a blow to President Mohamed Muizzu, as the MDC, the majority party in the Maldives Parliament, refused to approve four members of the ruling party joining Muizzu’s cabinet. The brawl erupted during a crucial vote on President Muizzu’s cabinet, with the ruling PPM-PNC coalition warning that withholding parliamentary approval deliberately impedes the government’s functioning. In response, the MDC accused Muizzu’s party of damaging property in the House during the scuffle.

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In a joint statement, the PPM-PNC coalition expressed belief that the refusal to grant approval to cabinet members obstructs the government’s work for the country’s betterment. They argued, “It is the president’s responsibility to create the ministries and institutions needed to fully implement policies, and to appoint capable individuals to run these ministries and institutions.”

On the other hand, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) strongly condemned the disruption, accusing government members of obstructing the democratic process. The MDP called for security services to ensure the safety and security of members of Parliament and criticised their perceived inaction during the chaos.

Earlier in the day, government MPs and deputy ministers protested outside parliament in the Green Zone against the Opposition’s blocking of cabinet member approvals. Subsequently, the government locked the doors of the house, leaving MDP and Democrat MPs outside.

This recent parliamentary turmoil adds strain to the diplomatic relations between India and the Maldives. President Muizzu, who assumed office on November 17, 2023, sparked a crisis by requesting India to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives.

The situation escalated as Muizzu broke diplomatic tradition by visiting Turkey and China before India. The Muizzu government has also faced challenges after junior MPs and ministers made remarks against Prime Minister Modi.
As per recent reports, the Maldivian opposition party is on track to present an impeachment motion against President Mohamed Muizzu to the parliament. Sufficient signatures have also been collected to commence the impeachment process.

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