DEMOCRACY UNDER THREAT: ECR PARTY CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN MALDIVIAN PARLIAMENT
The European Conservatives and Reformists Party strongly condemns the events that unfolded in the Chamber of the People’s Majlis in the Maldives on the 2nd of June. The brawl that took place in the Parliament puts the democracy in the country under threat. Ahmed Shiyam, Member of Parliament and Vice President of the Progressive Party of the Maldives was hospitalised after being attacked by yet unidentified ruling party MPs. Police have confirmed that a criminal investigation into the incident is underway.
The assault took place during a special session of the People’s Majlis on proposed amendments to the constitution. Members of the Progressive Party of the Maldives were subsequently blocked from re-entering the chamber to take part in the debate – leaving only MPs from the ruling party to debate the motion. There are only 9 opposition MPs in the Parliament of 87.
These incidents directly undermine much of the democratic institutional reforms undertaken in the country since 2004, as well as public confidence in the political system, creating a climate of fear and intimidation against lawmakers of the opposition. The Joint Parliamentary Group of the Progressive Congress Coalition has boycotted todays scheduled sitting of the Parliament in solidarity with their injured colleague. They have done so to send a message that majority rule does not mean they can get away with violence.
The ECR Party therefore calls on the Maldivian government to launch a full and transparent investigation into the incident, and ensure that the democratic processes, good governance and human rights are respected and protected. We also call on the European Union to make strong representations to the Maldivian government expressing concern about this democratic backsliding.