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Maldives president blocked from opening parliament

Ibrahim Faid / AFP - Getty Images

Maldivian policemen stand guard as a protestor shouts slogans during a rally in Male on March 1, 2012. Opposition MPs in the Maldives have prevented the new president, who is accused of seizing power in a coup, from opening parliament as violent protests erupted outside the building.

The Associated Press reports from Male, Maldives — Supporters of Maldives' former president prevented the country's new leader from opening parliament and protested in the streets Thursday, three weeks after he took office in a contentious power transfer.

Backers of former President Mohamed Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party blocked roads leading to parliament and clashed with police, who attempted to push them aside with their shields. At least three policemen were injured and a dozen protesters were arrested.

The protesters then removed the seats reserved for the president and the speaker in parliament, preventing President Mohammed Waheed Hassan from making an inaugural speech. Continue reading.