June 24, 2024

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Political Turmoil in the Maldives: Prosecutor General Attacked Amidst Rising Tensions

In a shocking turn of events, Maldives’ Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, appointed during former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s tenure under the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), faced a vicious assault by unidentified assailants on Wednesday morning in Male, the capital city, as reported by local media. Contrary to initial speculation, reports from the police indicated that the attack did not involve a sharp weapon.

This incident unfolds against a backdrop of escalating political confrontation between the Maldivian government and the opposition, intensifying efforts to impeach President Mohamed Muizzu. Recent parliamentary sessions have been marred by violence, notably when government MPs disrupted proceedings.

The critical vote on the parliamentary endorsement for the Muizzu administration was slated for the same day. Dramatic scenes captured on social media depicted a physical altercation between MDP MP Isa and PNC MP Abdullah Shaheem Abdul Hakeem.

Adding fuel to the fire, two opposition factions in the Maldives condemned the current administration for what they termed a ‘drastic’ shift in foreign policy away from India. Both the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Democrats issued a joint press release denouncing this policy change as “highly detrimental” to the nation’s long-term growth.

Emphasising the importance of stability and security in the Indian Ocean region, the opposition stressed the need for successive governments to collaborate with all development partners, including India, for the Maldives’ overall prosperity.

Meanwhile, reports from the Maldives Sun highlighted the Attorney General’s Office filing a case with the Supreme Court regarding amendments to the Parliament’s regulations enabling opposition lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.

The resignation of seven lawmakers in November to assume prominent roles in Mohamed Muizzu’s government prompted the MDP, which commands a parliamentary majority, to revise the Parliament’s rules. Consequently, the threshold for impeaching President Muizzu was lowered to 54 votes, down from the previous requirement of 58, reflecting the reduced count of MPs following the amendment to the standing orders, now totaling 80 as opposed to the previous 87.