PPM MP Ilham Ahmed stands by Commonwealth withdrawal bill

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Ilham Ahmed has told local media that there has been no “consideration” to remove a bill from parliament to renounce the Maldives’ membership in the Commonwealth.

Ilham was reported in Haveeru yesterday as claiming that a parliamentary motion to leave the Commonwealth would not be retracted without first holding discussions with President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, the PPM and the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP).

The bill was forwarded by Ilham and Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed last month over allegations that the intergovernmental association was working to “protect the interests” of one party in the country without understanding the “reality” of February’s controversial transfer of power.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (GMAG) has increased pressure over the last few months on the Maldives government to revise the composition and mandate of an independent commission established to ascertain the nature and legitimacy of how President Waheed came to power on February 7.

During a visit to India this week President Waheed said he would not back proposals to withdraw from the Commonwealth, despite expressing disappointment with CMAG’s statements regarding the transfer of power.

Dr Waheed told media that he believed any bill to renounce membership in the intergovernmental organisation would be dismissed as soon as the Majlis returned from recess.

The bill to leave the Commonwealth has also been criticised by the leader of the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Ahmed Thasmeen Ali .