The Maldivian government today defended its controversial deployment of troops to block opposition legislators entering parliament, saying the move was part of security measures undertaken for a visiting dignitary.
Yameen's office said in a statement that the legislature was shut as part of tight security measures undertaken for the country's 52nd anniversary of independence tomorrow and an "incoming VVIP visit".
"The special measures taken by the security forces at the parliament building on 24 July 2017 were to ensure the security and safety of the premises, as mandated by the... constitution," Yameen's office said.
The country's exiled main opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed called the eviction illegal.
Earlier in the day, parliament's gates were padlocked by members of the armed forces and MPs were prevented from entering the parliamentary compound.
The opposition this month secured enough support from government defectors to begin impeachment proceedings against the speaker, in a bid to wrest control of parliament from Yameen before presidential elections next year.
However, in a statement today, the parliament secretariat said the impeachment was declared invalid and the next sittings will be on July 31.
The first attempt to impeach the speaker in March sparked chaos when Yameen ordered troops to enter parliament and remove dissenting opponents by force.
The opposition coalition, led by Nasheed, wants to defeat Yameen at elections next year but faces an uphill battle.
All their key leaders are imprisoned or have fled to avoid a lengthy crackdown on dissent under Yameen's leadership.
The instability has dented the Maldives' image as a tourist paradise.
Nasheed became the Maldives first democratically-elected president in 2008, but was narrowly defeated by Yameen in a controversial 2013 election run-off.