Did Maldives govt lock down parliament to avoid vote?

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Did Maldives govt lock down parliament to avoid vote?

On arrival, he was received by Abdul Gayoom and cabinet members. However, in a statement on Tuesday, the parliament secretariat said the impeachment was declared invalid and the next sittings will be on July 31.

Maldivian security forces locked down parliament on orders from the president Monday, leading to clashes after opposition lawmakers stormed the compound in an attempt to vote on whether to impeach the parliamentary speaker.

Meanwhile, Maldives Independent reported that the organisation of national legislatures, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, on Monday expressed concern over opposition lawmakers being "subjected to a campaign of intimidation and coercion" ahead of the no-confidence vote.

Following the chaos, the parliament session of the day was cancelled, and the Maldives Police released a statement arguing that authorities had investigated "a case of obstruction of police duty against members of the Parliament of Maldives who broke into the restricted area around the Parliament building".

Maldives military on Monday took over the country's Parliament and barred lawmakers from entering the building in a bid to stop the impeachment of Speaker and the President's close ally Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed over allegations of corruption, mismanagement and rights abuses.

He said the opposition MPs were pepper sprayed and tear gassed by the police, and stopped from entering the parliament. However, an uncertainty arose when the election commission announced last week that the four members who supported the motion had lost their seats because they left the ruling party. Nasheed became the Maldives first democratically elected president in 2008, but was narrowly defeated by Yameen in a controversial 2013 election run-off. The opposition coalition, led by Nasheed, wants to defeat Yameen at elections in 2018 but faces an uphill battle.

In March, Nasheed and former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and two other parties signed an agreement to form an opposition alliance. In 2015, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison on terrorism charges that were widely seen as politically motivated.

He received asylum in Britain past year after traveling there on medical leave.

Maldives is a South Asian archipelago known for its luxury tourist resorts.

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