PGA concerned by opposition MPs' arrests

Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) on Monday expressed deep concern by the severe political repression in the Maldives, including serious violations of the constitutional and democratic processes and the arrest of several opposition lawmakers.

PGA, the largest NGO network of individual lawmakers from 142 countries in a statement, noted that the crackdown by the government to stop the opposition led move to unseat the speaker by disqualifying defecting ruling coalition lawmakers, arbitrary arrests and criminal prosecutions.

"This crackdown on the opposition is part of a wider context of excessive limitations to the human rights of the Maldivian people," the statement read.

PGA also called on the Maldivian authorities and the international community to guarantee that the rights of every individual is guaranteed, pursuant to internationally-recognized human rights and the Maldivian Constitution.

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 last 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.

The three judge bench hearing the case unanimously ruled in favour of the government. The court had also ordered relevant institutions to bring into effect an anti-defection law.

The ruling party however, had refused to allow the lawmakers to leave saying that their requests can only be processed after their respective disciplinary hearing are concluded.

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