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Unfair treatment and "selective justice" for going against whip, says MP Waheed

Lamya Abdulla
08 February 2023, MVT 20:57
(FILE) MP Mohamed Waheed ( Ungoofaaru) speaks during a sitting
Lamya Abdulla
08 February 2023, MVT 20:57

Ungoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed has alleged that the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) has been taking action against specific members of its parliamentary group unjustly.

MDP has been taking action against some of their parliamentary group members, accusing them of going against the party’s three line whip regarding parliament votes.

Most of these members belong to Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed’s faction in the currently split parliamentary group.

While members that support President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have been voting in accordance with the party’s whip, Nasheed supporters continue to express dissatisfaction over the bills submitted by Solih's government.

Some MDP members did not vote on bills where the three-line whip was brought forward, such as the state budget for 2023 and the bills relating to GST and TGST.

MDP took action against MP Waheed over these incidents as well.

In a letter addressed to MDP Parliamentary Group Leader North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam, MP Waheed said that after receiving multiple letters, he was penalised wrongfully. He said the party’s parliamentary group regulations state that the whip must clarify why and how a member went against them if they believe this offence has been carried out.

"Therefore, I do not believe these are legitimate steps taken against me. The points I made, which were deeply connected to the Maldivian people, were not considered, and while the procedures in the regulations were not followed in taking action against me, the right given to me by the constitution to defend myself is also not being considered," he wrote, adding that he did not believe that the steps being taken by MDP's parliamentary group were legitimate.

He said prior to penalising him, the party had shown preferential treatment to certain MPs. He also accused them of carrying out "selective justice" while penalising members that had not voted in accordance with the whip line.

He had requested that the MDP parliamentarians no longer be treated in this manner.

In the letter sent to the parliament members that had gone against the whip, the PG leader, MP Aslam, reminded them that when the whip line is brought out, all members are obligated to be present in the parliament chambers to vote for it.

Some of the letters stated that it is an offence to deliberately miss these sessions, especially when a three-line whip has been called.

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