Supporters of fomer Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed have clashed with police and stopped the country's new leader from opening parliament, three weeks after he says he was forced to resign in a coup.
Opposition legislators prevented Mohamed Waheed from addressing the assembly in the capital Male on Thursday by removing seats reserved for the president and the speaker.
Outside the building, supporters of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party blocked roads leading to parliament, prompting clashes with police who attempted to push them aside with shields.
Police said 14 officers were wounded, four of them seriously, in clashes with opposition demonstrators around the parliament. At least 34 people were arrested, according to the AFP news agency.
'Determined to speak'
According to the constitution, the president of the country must address parliament and officially open a new session after a change in leadership.
A spokesman for Waheed said he was "determined to speak but the situation is still not conducive".
Nasheed resigned last month after weeks of public protests and loss of support from the military and police.
He later said he was ousted in a coup and was forced to resign at gunpoint.
A political stalemate has followed, with Nasheed calling Waheed's government illegitimate and campaigning for early elections. Waheed, Nasheed's former deputy, says the transfer was constitutional.
Nasheed was the Indian Ocean island nation's first democratically elected leader in decades when he took office in 2008, replacing Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who had ruled the country for 30 years.
|< Prev||Next >|
Other articles in Central/S. Asia
NATO airstrike kills Afghan soldiers 06 March 2014
India announces election dates 05 March 2014
NATO supply trucks under fire in Pakistan 04 March 2014
Doctors on strike in India's Uttar Pradesh 04 March 2014
Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy 04 March 2014
Karzai: Afghan war fought in West's interest 03 March 2014
Suicide attackers storm court in Pakistan 03 March 2014
Iran says border guards freed in Pakistan 02 March 2014
Pakistan's madrassas reined in by government 02 March 2014
Sri Lankan family finds mass grave in garden 01 March 2014