Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group deputy leader and Thoddoo constituency MP Ali Waheed has said that the decision to indefinitely suspend Parliament sessions citing that it was under threat is an excuse.
Ali Waheed told Haveeru last night that the Parliament did not face any threats that would prompt such a decision to suspend its sessions.
A statement of the Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid read that after deliberations with the leaders of political parties to seek a peaceful resolution, the decision had been taken to suspend Parliament sessions with effect from yesterday under the authority afforded to the Speaker in Article 213 (5) of the rules of procedure.
“Shahid’s statement seemed like we were at war” and the Parliament is definitely not facing such a situation, he added.
“I think Shahid is at war with the people who are behind the coup.”
Shahid in his statement had said that “hence as the atmosphere needed to continue the sessions cannot be assured, and as the recent sessions had to be ended prematurely under similar circumstances, and as I believe that situation as of now is similar to what is stipulated under Article 213 (5) of the Parliament’s procedure, and as a precautionary measure against the present circumstances, and as the work of the Parliament can only be carried out if the various political parties in Parliament can align their political differences peacefully and arrive at political consensus, the Parliament sessions have been suspended with effect today under the authority afforded to the Speaker in Article 213 (5) of the rule of procedure after deliberations with the leaders of political parties to seek a peaceful resolution.”
Members of pro-government political parties said that Ali Waheed had barged in and confronted Shahid while the Speaker was meeting with leaders of political parties in his chambers.
However, Ali Waheed refuted the accusations and stressed that he had done no such thing.
“MPs including MDP and other parties were shouting in there. But I did not commit such an act. That is a blatant lie,” Ali Waheed said.
MDP had begun to stymie sessions and committees of Parliament after the government had decided to open the national health insurance scheme ‘Aasandha’ to private hospitals and clinics with a charge from patients.
“As long as they are providing Aasandha for free, I don’t mind even if they deduct a certain percentage from my salary every time they remove me from the Parliament. If the government does not have the funds, such deductions must be made to continue providing Aasandha,” Ali Waheed stressed.
He explained that MDP wished to block the Parliament in order to ensure that it can function within the contours of the laws and in the best interest of the people.
“That’s why we are protesting. But there is no danger or threat,” he added.