Opposition protests against police services bill

The opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) protested against the Police Services Bill that has been proposed to the Parliament.

The opposition said the bill has been structured in a way that the parliament members can exert political influence on the police. The opposition coalition members gathered in the intersection of the streets Sosun Magu and Majeedhee Magu, and protestors held pickets with statements against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The parliament house is located around five minutes walking distance from the intersection.

The protest began around 10:00 hrs on Monday, which continued for about half an hour without any interruption from the police. The protestors left the area on their own after their protest. However, the area near the parliament house was blocked, and the police were patrolling the area.

A left-wing political group “Navaa Navai” also protested in the parliament house area. Their concern was on the parliament’s inaction to assist the people socioeconomically impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. The police officers patrolling the parliament area dispersed the protestors of Navaa Navai within few minutes after the protest began.

The two protests were held while the police had been instructing not to have gatherings of more than three people as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The capital Male’ region was placed in lockdown since April 15 following the detection of the first case of local transmission. Strict movement restrictions were placed in which are now being relieved in phases.