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Parliament rejects bill to grant VP privileges

Mariyam Malsa
13 June 2019, MVT 09:31
Former Vice Presidents Mohamed Waheed Din (L), Dr Mohamed Jameel, Abdulla Jihad. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Mariyam Malsa
13 June 2019, MVT 09:31

Parliament, on Wednesday, rejected the bill granting benefits to former vice presidents.

A majority of 74 members voted to reject the bill while two parliamentarians voted in favour of accepting and another four MPs abstained from voting.

Most of the members that participated in the debate criticized the bill, with some claiming that it was submitted for the benefit of a certain individual.

The bill, initially submitted by Eydhafushi MP and representative of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Ahmed Saleem, proposed to grant a monthly allowance of MVR 35,000 to former vice presidents.

Despite being passed by the previous parliament, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih refused to ratify the bill, citing burdens on state expenditure.

As per the bill, former vice presidents will only receive a financial allowance if they are not an employee of the state. Previously, benefits were granted to former VPs without any particular guideline.

While there are five former VPs alive, only Mohamed Waheed Deen, Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Abdulla Jihad are eligible for benefits according to the terms of the bill.

The 33-year prison sentence against former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was recently overturned. If no further charges are raised against him, Adeeb will also qualify for the financial benefits.

Former Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik will not receive VP benefits as he filled the post of President afterwards.

President Solih also refused to ratify the bill granting privileges to former judges. The parliament rejected the bill during Wednesday's session.

Additionally, the bill submitted by Alifushi MP Mohamed Rasheed Hussain which proposed to grant powers to the presidential commissions was accepted by the parliament and forwarded to a parliamentary committee for review.

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