Maldives Par to convene on Mar 19 amid standoff

Male: Maldives Parliament will convene on March 19, days after its new session after a change in leadership was disrupted by angry opposition demanding resignation of the President.

Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid on Wednesday declared that the Parliament would reconvene for the year on Monday, March 19.

The Speaker said he will try to pave the way for a peaceful dialogue to solve the current political crisis in the country, which erupted following the resignation of Mohammed Nasheed, before he proceeds with the session on coming Monday, the statement issued by the Parliament said.

This ruling came after the Parliament, which was scheduled to be opened by President Mohammed Waheed on March 1, was blocked by Nasheed`s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members.

The Speaker had made four attempts to enter the Parliament chambers to commence the session, but was thwarted by MDP legislators.

Meanwhile, the MDP Parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had a meeting with the President at his office on Wedneday. There was no official information on the meeting.

But, a statement issued by MDP said that the party is still firm on its demand that President Waheed should resign to pave the way for early elections. President Waheed has said that he wants to hold All Party Talks to resolve the political crisis.

Nasheed resigned on February 7, paving the way for his Vice President Waheed to be sworn in as the new head of the government. A day after his resignation, Nasheed alleged he was forced to resign and claimed there was a coup, a charge denied by the current regime.