Parliament cancelled after a 10 hour wait for President Waheed

Mar 01, 2012 - 09:30 9 comments
  • President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik walks down the red carpet with the Speaker to enter the parliament. PHOTO/ IBRAHIM FAID

  • MDP protesters take to the streets to deter President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik from delivering the presidential address in parliament on March 1, 2012. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • MDP protesters take to the streets to deter President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik from delivering the presidential address in parliament on March 1, 2012. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • MDP protesters take to the streets to deter President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik from delivering the presidential address in parliament on March 1, 2012. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • MDP protesters take to the streets to deter President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik from delivering the presidential address in parliament on March 1, 2012. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

MDP supporters take to the streets while MDP MP's protest inside parliament chambers to oppose and prevent President Waheed from delivering the presidential address in Parliament today.


MDP MP's blocking the entrance used by the Speaker to enter the Parliament chambers.

19:22  Abdulla Shahid: 
I contemplated whether to carry on with the session by force or by dialogue and i decided to act according to the latter. The Speaker has been afforded the authorty to postpone a session based on any perceived dangers to the parliament. Henceforth, under that authority I have decided not to hold today's parliament session today and a date of when the session will be held would be informed later.

19:20  Abdulla Shahid:
MDP MP's have protested and prevented the holding of today's parliament session. I tried to enter the chambers on numerous ocassions. The last time I tried, I had even received injuries.

Press conference has begun.

President's Office spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza has stated that President Waheed was waiting for instructions from the Speaker and had not received an indication whether the session would continue or has been cancelled.

The Speaker Abdulla Shahid had momentarily appeared  to commence the press conference, but had left when the pro government MP's had requested a meeting with him.

MP Ibrahim "Bondey" Rasheed has claimed that his suit had been ripped when the military had escorted him outside the chambers.

MP Imthiyaz Fahmy just told the media that he has found that the military had entered the parliament chambers without prior consent of the Speaker and that had even been admitted by some of the military officers.

The police officer who had suffered serious head injuries will be sent to Sri Lanka for further treatment and is scheduled to be taken to the airport tonight at 7.00, police said.

The press conference which was cancelled a short-while ago, is now back on and will begin momentarily.

Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid had tried to enter the chambers around 6.00 but when his attempts were blocked he had sought the assistance of the military. Military personnel entered the chambers and escorted MP Ibrahim Rasheed outside. However, after the officers had left, Rasheed had reentered the chambers. Shahid has still been unable to enter the chambers as the MDP MP's are seated in front of the entrance blocking his entry.

One of the protesters arrested today has been tested positive for narcotics. A SMS sent by the police stated that the Haa dhaal Atoll Vaikaradhoo, Kuri Mohamed Ifaz's urine tested positive for narcotics after he was arrested for breaking through the barricades and attacking police personnel.

Military have entered the parliment chambers and removed MP Ibrahim Rasheed and MP Mohamed Shifaz. MP Ahmed Easa has claimed that the military had beaten him. MP Moosa "Reeko" Manik stated that the MP's cannot be removed from the chambers by the military without announcing the names of the MP's which can also happen after the session opens.

Media officials at the scene have reported that preparations are underway to hold the parliament session. A special police team was just seen entering the premises of the parliament.

Press conference have been cancelled. Information have been received that the parliament session would in fact take place today.

Reliable sources have revealed that the parliament session would not be held today.

A press conference is scheduled to be held momentarily in Parliament.

A meeting is taking place with pro government political parties. It is believed to be conducted in the room where President Waheed is currently in.


Police have stated that the motorcycle burned down in front of the Male City Council had been ridden by two police officers. Police further stated that a group had stopped the two police officers as they passed by, attacked them and torched their bike.



People gathered after the motorcycle had burned down. MMS PHOTO/ AHMED SAEED

Eyewitness reports state that a motorcycle had been set on fire in front of the Male city hall owned by the Male city council. Witnesses reported seeing supporters of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) exchange verbal attacks and saw the motorcycle get knocked down in the process and had caught fire when the petrol leaked from its tank and ignited. The fire had been doused by people from the nearby buildings.

Police media official has stated that preparations are underway to send a policeman abroad for further treatment, The police officer sustained serious injuries to his head while on duty near a road block at the Woodapple restaurant junction. The officer is currently receiving treatment at police medical. Police media also said that the policeman did not have a passport, hence preparations are being taken to issue an emergency passport. Several other policemen were treated at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) for injuries suffered from the same incident. IGMH stated that there were no serious injuries to the officers treated from the hospital. Police media official also stated that the officer who sustained serious injuries were not sent to IGMH for treatment as the police believe that it was not good to transfer him to the hospital.

Police have said that 44 people have been arrested thus far following today's protest.

15:22  Ahmed Hamdhoon, Parliament office

IPU member Martin Chungong just now stated that he believed that the parliament session must be held and President Waheed must be allowed to deliver his presidential address. He further stated that talks must be held among the two sides to resolve the issue and the only way forward is through negotiations. Chungong said that the he agrees with the President to peacefully carry out the discussions from within the parliament after its reopening. Furthermore he added that the current problems should be resolved by the Maldivians, and that it was up to the parties to facilitate that process. Chungong is still in the Parliament house acting as an observer.

US embassy has issued a press release expressing concern for the ongoing protest to block the opening of parliament.

"The United States is concerned today by disorderly protests in MalĂ© and disruption of the opening session of the Majlis.  The U.S. attaches great importance to our friendly relations with Maldives.  We have welcomed the efforts of all sides to participate in a dialogue on a democratization process that could create the conditions for early elections.  As the Majlis session opens, the United States encourages all parties to continue to work collaboratively and peacefully toward a solution as agreed with the Roadmap document, and not allow violence to further complicate the situation.  The United States will continue to support Maldives in this process, and we stand ready to provide technical assistance on elections.  In the interests of all Maldivians, we urge the parties to work together in a constructive and cooperative manner to reach agreement."

Information has been received that preparations are underway to hold the parliament session shortly.



Speaker of Parliament's third attempt to enter the chambers have been blocked by the MDP MP's. A chair has also now been placed in front of the entrance doors.

Screams can be heard from inside the Parliament after the doors had been shut.

Parliament doors have now been closed moments ago.

Foreign Nationals were also seen among the MDP protesters today.

MDP Parliamentary group member Hamid Abdul Ghafoor has said on television even though government officials had tried to talk with the MDP MP's they did not wish to discuss the matter any further. He further said that President Waheed would not be allowed to enter parliament chambers to deliver the presidential address as the MDP MP's were blocking the entrance.

14:28  IGMH: 
All of the 14 police officers brought in for treatment have been released as they injuries had not been serious.

Around 50 SPG military personnel forms a cordon near the west gate of parliament.


Clashes in Alikilegefaanu magu.


Clashes in Alikilegefaanu magu.


Some MDP members blocking the entrance to Parliament chambers. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED


IPU members inside Parliament. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

A meeting has been held in the Parliament with the presene of Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam and Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz. Some members of the cabinet are also holding a meeting in the Parliament office.

MDP women are protesting in front of former youth center. The protesters are sitting down while water and other refreshments are being distributed to the crowd.

Indian High Commissioner D.M. Mulay was just seen leaving the Parliament office.

12:37  Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz on Twitter: 
President of the Human Rights Commission has sent an SMS expressing satisfaction for the conduct of the police in controlling the situation in Male today.

12:36  Police SMS: 
Some people taken into custody following the unrest today, are being tested for narcotics as they have been suspected of being intoxicated.

Ilyas Labeeb just now announced that internet and mobile services have been cut off inside parliament chambers.

MP Ahmed Mahloof has told DhiTV that if the Speaker of Parliament was able, President Waheed will deliver the presidential address today.  Mahloff also said that despite around 10 MDP MP's using obscene lingo the PPM's stand was also to allow the President to deliver his address today.


Unrest inside Parliament Chambers. TWITTER PHOTO/ MP AHMED NIHAN

A member of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) is speaking with the MP's to resolve the strife. Speaker of Parliament had made two attempts to enter the chambers but his efforts had been thwarted by the protesting MDP MP's sitting and lying in front of the entrance to the chambers. Speaker of Parliament is now meeting with the leaders of the parliamentary groups. A scuffle broke out between the MP's of PPM and MDP as PPM's Ilham tried to return the seat of the Speaker to its usual position.

Police commissioner has claimed on twitter that the he had requested the police integrity commission and the human rights commission to closely monitor the ongoing unrest in the capital Male today.

MDP MP's wait with "Traitor" placards in hand at the entrance of the Parliament chambers with their yellow ties tied around their foreheads. The MP's are protesting at the entrance which is normally used by the Speaker of Parliament to enter the chambers.

11:58  Police SMS: 
4 police officers have been "seriously injured". 10 police officers have suffered minor injuries. 34 people have been taken into custody as they broke through the police barricades and attacked the police.


The area near Majeediyya School is now relatively calm as military personnel have now assumed security of the area.

Protesters continue their protest in the roads around the vicinity of the Parliament building. However, there has been no acts of violence and the scenes are of relative calm.

As the media inside the parliament are barred from using mobile phones, the situation in the chambers has been hard to determine. The live television feeds of the parliament session have also been temporarily cut off.

Military forms a cordon near Majeediyyaa School.

Gemanafushi constituency MP Ilham Ahmed has stated that President Waheed would not leave Parliament today without delivering his presidential address.

11:23  IGMH statement:
Due to the emergency cases OPD services had been cancelled for the day.

Commissioner Police claimed on twitter that 4 policeman had been injured and rushed to the hospital. But no report of any member of the public suffering injuries had been received thus far.

Police officers suffered severe injuries when the protesters gathered near Wood Apple had hurled wooden clubs, water bottles and stones at the police. A military platoon had arrived in the area shortly after.

Police barricades near Majeediyyaa School have been taken away by protesters.

Some people gathered in various parts of the capital Male are armed with wooden clubs.

10:56  Police SMS: 
Police have urged the public not to resort to acts of violence as a number of police officers have suffered severe injuries in the areas surrounding the Parliament.

Some protesters gathered near Wood Apple have been pushed back by Police.

Three police officers near Wood Apple have been seriously injured.

Some members inside the parliament are trying to damage the chair allocated for President Waheed. Fights have broken out between members of parliament.

Police platoon deploys from near Allora

10:38  Police SMS: 
Some policeman near Wood Apple has been injured as protesters hurled stones at the police.

Fights break out between MP's inside parliament chambers.

A policeman near Majeediyya has been injured following a blow to the head.

The first sitting originally scheduled to commence at 10.00 this morning has still not begun.

One member has removed the seat of the President from its original location.

The police patrolling Alikilegefaanu magu are chanting "Money, Money - Yes Sir", which had been originally used by MDP supporters to taunt the security forces.


Riot police cordon near parliament.


MDP members wait for the arrival of President Waheed


President Waheed arriving in Parliament.

The protesters in Alikilegefaanu magu have been pushed backed to Majeedee Magu by the Police and have taken some people into custody.

10:15  Abbas on VTV: 
President Waheed will deliver his address under any circumstances. He will fulfill his constitutional obligation with valor and would not back down if even if its costs his life.

Protesters near Rainbow in Alikilegefaanu magu are hurling wooden clubs like objects at the police.

Abbas said that the MDP members inside the parliament had tried to physically harm the president.

10:07  President's Office spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza on VTV: 
This is a really embarrassing scenario. We are witnessing blatant violations of the constitution as the need for the presidential address is an obligation by law. To deter that obligation is a serious offence. We will not allow this to repeat. Anyone who tries to obstruct the constitutional obligation of the president must face the strict punishment.

The session originally scheduled to commence at 10.00 has now been delayed.

Police have just used pepper spray on the protesters near Alikilegefaanu magu. Protesters with a majority of women near Majeediyya School are sitting down, while a Police fire truck is stationed nearby.

Total chaos inside parliament chambers. Pictures of members wrestling each other to the ground was just witnessed on television.


MDP protesters heading towards parliament about half an hour ago.

The mayhem inside the parliament chambers was just witnessed.

President Waheed arrived amidst both greetings and disapproval.

President Waheed arrives in Parliament. He is accompanied by speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid as he walks inside on the red carpet.

Some MDP MP's are infront of the Parliament's entrance. Intended for the security forces, MP Ali Waheed has said that he was not concerned even if they armed with loaded weapons as he did not have any grievance with the security forces.


A chart portraying the roads closed off by police for the Parliament opening today.

Police had closed off 15 roads leading to the parliament building in relation to the reconvening of Parliament today.

The police has said that they would close off additional roads if the need arises.

09:45  Police News Alert:
Police have issued a warning for the protesters who had broken through the police barricades to leave the area immediately.

MDP MP's calling for the resignation of President Waheed inside Parliament chambers.

MDP protesters have broken through the police barricades near the Health Ministry at Sosun Magu and entered the area. The protesters who had been gathered at Lonuziyaarai Kolhu had left towards Parliament moments before.

An MP has informed that the MDP members has removed the seat allocated for President Waheed and labelled it "Traitor Waheed". Also they have removed the seats allocated for the ministerial cabinet.

  Members of parliament representing former President Mohamed Nasheed have arrived in Parliament. They had walked to parliament after leaving from Nasheed's residence together.

Whilst President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik is cheduled to deliver the presidential address today at parliament, MDP Parliamentary group had decided last night to do everything possible to deter President Waheed as MDP has refused to recognize his government as they claim that Nasheed had been ousted on February 7th by a coup backed by Waheed.

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