Maldives government thwarts opposition bid to oust speaker

A bid by the opposition to wrest control of the Maldives' Parliament has failed after its lawmakers were either evicted or walked out from a vote on ousting the speaker following a dispute over problems with the electronic voting system.

The government on Tuesday defeated a motion to oust the speaker by 48 votes with none opposing.

The vote was seen a test for President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, whose control over Parliament was threatened by a new understanding between the Maldives' former strongman and its first democratically elected president. However, a dispute arose when lawmakers found that the electronic voting system had crashed, and the opposition accused the government of tampering with the system.

The deputy speaker ordered some protesting opposition lawmakers evicted and those remaining also left in protest.