The Maldives parliament on Monday approved the removal of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s member and Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed “Wadde” Waheed Ibrahim from the Clemency Board.
The removal of MP Waheed, who is loyal to Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the divided PPM, was accepted with a majority of 41 votes from 67 members. While 26 lawmakers voted against the decision, one stayed null.
The resolution seeking MP Waheed’s expulsion from the Clemency Board was presented to the parliament by lawmaker of Kelaa Constituency Ali Arif, who is a member of PPM loyal to President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s faction. In the resolution, MP Arif had sought to counsel the president to remove MP Waheed from the board under accusations of MP Waheed’s failure to properly fulfil his obligations as a Clemency Board member and, thus, not representing the parliament appropriately.
The national security committee of the parliament which had reviewed the resolution had unanimously voted in favour of MP Waheed’s removal.
The resolution against MP Waheed had been submitted to the parliament whilst he had been raising his voice against President Yameen’s government as a member of Former President Maumoon’s PPM faction.
Members of opposition parties declared that the president is working to dominate all powers by submitting various resolutions and amendments to the parliament. Protesting MP Waheed’s removal from the Clemency Board as an action that is not in the interests of the public, the members declared that MP Waheed’s representation of the parliament on the board should be recognised.
Pro-government lawmakers countered that his removal was decided not on his incompetency as a Clemency Board member, but his dismal absenteeism from Clemency Board meetings. However, MP Waheed had refuted all allegations against him.
The Clemency Board, formed under the direction of the Clemency Act, consists of 11 members appointed by the President. Among the members of Judiciary, Religious Scholars, Health, Education, representative of Civil Society, Parole Board and an official of Maldives Police Service, Waheed was the only representative of Legislature. The constitutional power of the board is to give advice to the president on giving clemency for the detainees.