The Maldivian opposition said that the military locked down parliament today on the orders of the country’s president in a bid to prevent lawmakers from taking part in a vote to impeach the parliamentary speaker.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party said that on the orders of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the gates of the parliament were padlocked by members of the armed forces this morning and lawmakers “were forcibly prevented from entering the parliamentary compound.”
In a statement, the opposition party called Yameen’s action “desperate, illegal and unconstitutional.”
There was no immediate comment from the government. The government spokesmen could not be reached by telephone.
A no-confidence motion against Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed was scheduled to be taken up today.
The opposition says the motion has gained the support of 45 lawmakers in the 85-member house. However, an uncertainty arose when the election commission announced last week that the four members who supported the motion had lost their seats because they left the ruling party.