Clashes erupted in the Maldives' Parliament on Sunday as pro-government MPs and opposition lawmakers clashed over disagreements regarding the approval of four members of President Mohamed Muizzu's pro-China cabinet.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) opted to withhold parliamentary approval for the four cabinet members, leading to a protest by pro-government MPs that disrupted the parliamentary session, local media reported.
An altercation took place between MPs Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem Shaheem and Ahmed Easa during the clash, resulting in injuries to Shaheem's head. Shaheem has been taken to the hospital, while Minority leader Moosa Siraj attempted to intervene.
The decision by MDP and The Democrats' parliamentary group not to approve certain cabinet members prompted ruling party Progressive Party of Maldives and People’s National Congress (PPM/PNC) coalition members to disrupt proceedings and enter the Speaker's chambers, according to reports. A viral video on social media shows MPs engaged in a physical altercation near the Speaker's chair.
Mathiveri Member of Parliament Hassan Zareer also sustained serious injuries to his finger during the scuffle. Pro-government supporters and officials are now protesting outside the parliament, demanding the approval of cabinet ministers.
The MDP, having a majority in parliament, decided not to vote for the approval of Attorney General Ahmed Usham, Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development Dr. Ali Haidar, Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed.
The ruling PPM-PNC coalition responded by filing no-confidence motions against Parliament’s Speaker Mohamed Aslam and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Saleem. The coalition alleges Speaker Aslam of misusing his official capacity to favor a certain party's interests.
President Muizzu, known for his pro-China stance, formally requested India to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives soon after assuming office on November 17 last year. The opposition's decision not to approve the cabinet has led to increased tensions and political turmoil in the country.
(With Agency Inputs)