Police deny mass opposition protest permit

Police on Saturday denied giving the now united opposition permission to hold a mass anti-government protest in the capital Male on Monday.

Opposition had hours before announced a mass protest in the capital Male, urging the people from the across the archipelago to join.

Opposition spokesperson and South-Galolhu MP Ahmed Mahloof told reporters that the protest would call on the government to respect the separation of powers and the ruling party to allow the no-confidence motion against the parliament speaker to go for a vote.

Mahloof also said senior police officers had given the green light for the opposition to hold the protest.

Police spokesperson Ahmed Shifan however denied the claims insisting that no police officer would take part in a protest.

Shifan also warned that the police would block any unlawful protests that violate the right to peaceful assembly.

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has been devastated by a revolt after as many as 10 lawmakers backed an opposition led move to unseat the parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh earlier this month.

PPM has been accused of engineering the constitutional dispute case asking the Supreme Court to disqualify MPs who defect or violate party whip-lines and or are formally removed from their respective party.