Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), on Wednesday, issued a three-line whip on recently submitted amendments to the Parliamentary Privileges Act which seek to grant increased benefits to former MPs.
Leader of MDP's parliamentary group, Mohamed Aslam, revealed to local media Mihaaru that all PG group members collectively agreed not to pass the amendments and issued a "red line whip".
While the initial reading for the four amendments has already been held, debates have yet to commence. Parliamentarians will proceed to vote on whether or not to pass the amendments after the conclusion of the debates. If the bills are voted through, they will be forwarded to parliamentary committees for review.
The next parliamentary session is scheduled for April 29.
In several instances, certain bills have been sent for review after the conclusion of the day's debate and summarily passed during a session held the same night.
Amendments to parliamentary privileges were proposed by Velidhoo MP Abdulla Yameen Rasheed, Thimarafushi MP Mohamed Mustafa and Dhihdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed.
MP Yameen's proposal aims to secure allowances for former MPs immediately upon the end of their terms. Under the Parliamentary Privileges Act, former members are only given allowances after they reach the age of 55.
The amendment submitted by Thimarafushi MP proposes to grant VIP services to former parliamentarians at airports. However, he has since decided to withdraw the bill.
Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed's bill proposed to grant ex-MPs diplomatic passports and allow them to include spouses and underage children in their health insurance schemes.