A brawl broke out in the Maldives parliament on Sunday night, with opposition lawmakers reportedly slapping the speaker and injuring a fellow lawmaker. The incident occurred during a heated debate over the approval of President Mohamed Muizzu’s new cabinet. Opposition lawmakers had raised concerns about the inclusion of several ministers who they accused of corruption.
In a video that has gone viral, opposition lawmaker Ahmed Shiyam can be seen slapping Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed, who is also the former president of the Maldives, was trying to restore order in the chamber.
The opposition coalition, which holds a majority in parliament, argues that the four cabinet members were appointed without proper consultation and should not be confirmed. They have also accused the Solih government of being increasingly authoritarian.
The government, however, has defended the appointments, saying they were made in accordance with the constitution. They have accused the opposition of trying to obstruct the democratic process. The standoff has left the country in a state of political limbo. The parliament has been adjourned indefinitely, and it is unclear when or how the impasse will be resolved.
Maldives Parliament Chaos: Viral Videos
The chaos in the parliament was captured on video by lawmakers and members of the public. The videos show opposition lawmakers pushing and shoving their way into the chamber, while government security forces try to hold them back.
Total chaos in Maldives Parliament as vote on Parliamentary approval of Muizzu’s Cabinet is being conducted.
First the Opposition MP’s were prevented from entering, then Ruling party MPs attempted to prevent speaker from conducting session. Democracy is getting crushed ! pic.twitter.com/Jj8VkyJnEb
— Megh Updates (@MeghUpdates) January 28, 2024
One video shows a female opposition lawmaker being dragged out of the chamber by her hair. Another video shows a government lawmaker throwing a water bottle at an opposition MP. The videos have been widely shared on social media, sparking outrage and concern among Maldivians. Many are calling for calm and dialogue to resolve the political crisis.
Concerns for Democracy
The recent events have raised concerns about the state of democracy in the Maldives. The country has a long history of political instability, and there are fears that the current standoff could lead to further violence.