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Maldives opposition protesters arrested after top court validates emergency rule

The Maldivian Democratic Party, the main opposition party, said on Twitter police had arrested Mohamed Ameeth and Abdulla Ahmed, two lawmakers who had defected from Yameen's party and two more from other opposition parties late on Monday.Independent television Raajje TV, which showed footage of police forcibly blocking protesters, said Abdulla Ahmed was arrested while giving a media interview about the protest.

‘Parliamentary democracy smothered in Maldives’

In the backdrop of an escalating political crisis and a purge initiated by Maldives’ President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Former Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Abdulla Shahid, speaks to Hardnews about the island nation’s growing proximity to China and the plight of its democratic system. Shahid, who played a key role in the Maldives’ transition to democracy in 2008, sounds an ominous warning for Maldives’ current regime which is indulging in a dangerous power play by pitting India against China. He also deliberates on how parliamentary democracy is being smothered in the Maldives, recounting his own experience of being prosecuted for entering Parliament, and stresses on the role the Opposition can play in challenging the prevailing narrative. The interview was conducted before Emergency was declared.