MP of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), Ahmed Ilham, and Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed have submitted a bill to parliament that could see the Maldives withdraw itself from the Commonwealth within 60 days of ratification.
Under the proposed bill, a decision to later rejoin the 54 member state intergovernmental organisation would require a similar act to be passed in parliament.
A PPM MP told Minivan News on condition on anonymity that there has been no discussion among members following the submission of the bill.
The MP emphasised that the wider party had not yet discussed a policy on leaving the Commonwealth, while also stressing the need for further dialogue with the organisation.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (GMAG) has increased pressure over the last month on the Maldives government to revise the composition and mandate of an independent commission established to ascertain the nature of the controversial transfer of power in February.
CMAG said that “stronger measures” would be considered against the Maldives over the next month if it failed to enact changes to the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) to ensure it was more “credible” and “independent”. These claims led to a backlash from some government-alligned MPs accusing the Commonwealth of showing “bias” and not respecting the country’s constitution. The government of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan has stressed it remains committed to the body despite some reservations about the clarity of CMAG’s agenda.
However, after submitting the bill to parliament yesterday, MP Riyaz claimed in local media that the Commonwealth was working to “protect the interests” of one party in the country without understanding the “reality” of the situation.
Ilham meanwhile told the press that although withdrawal from the Commonwealth was not seen as the “best option”, the bill had been forwarded “in consideration” of issues that may affect the country in the future.
MPs Ilham and Rahseed were both unavailable for comment when contacted at Minivan News at time of press. PPM Parliamentary Group Leader Abdulla Yameen was also not responding.
The PPM MP said that he was aware that the bill had been submitted yesterday evening by two members of parties belonging to the coalition government, yet was not sure of the exact details of the proposed bill.
“It is at a very early stage right now, I do not know myself what it is about,” he said. “From my view it is not something that has been discussed within the PPM yet.”
The PPM member added that a recently founded joint parliamentary group consisting of several coalition parties had also not had the chance to discuss any motion on leaving the Commonwealth.
“I have previously expressed my concern that [leaving the Commonwealth] is not the best way to solve this issue. It is not really a choice we can take,” he said. “I would still say that there is a chance to sit down together and discuss this matter.”
“Anything can happen in politics”
MDP spokesperson and MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said he suspected that even if all the PPM and DQP parties’ members backed the bill, there would not be enough support to pass the motion to leave the Commonwealth in the Majis.
“I don’t believe they could get backing for such a bill, this is simply Gayoom posturing,” he claimed. “Of course, anything is possible in politics, but I do not think the Maldivian people would support this. We are a tourism-based economy and this move would not be good for investor confidence in future.”
Ghafoor added that submission of the bill itself was “extremely revealing” of the attitude of government-aligned MPs towards establishing an independent investigation of February’s transfer of power through the CNI.
“I’m a little perplexed as to why they are acting this way. The MPs are clearly upset about the Commonwealth’s calls and this has been seen in the increasingly xenophobic language [in Dhivehi] used by some of the parties regarding the outside world and the Commonwealth.”
Ghafoor claimed that the MDP was itself completely against leaving the commonwealth, a decision he believed would be shared by the majority of the public who were “aware of the benefits” that the organisation had afforded to the country.
“The MDP certainly has a global outlook. Therefore the thought of leaving an international organisation like the Commonwealth in this day and age is the height of ridiculousness,” he said. “Clearly the PPM believe that we are still in the 1930s.”
10 thoughts on “DQP MP Riyaz, PPM MP Ilham submit bill to withdraw Maldives from Commonwealth”
Hell yeah! We want ignorance. We are the only ones God has blessed. We do not want decadent western civilization. We want to cultivate bedouin heritage here.
It will be easier to manage and stamp out any opposition. Women must be veiled. Black. Complete cover.
How more ignorant can any people be!
Let us become a North Korea. That way, we can have Maumoon and his family rule maldives forever.!!
This is democracy at work. Different people have different view points. These 02 MPs have a right to submit this bill. But that doesn't mean the Majlis will pass it. We are not even sure if the bills will not be withdrawn before a vote which will surely kill it.
MPs in Scotland regularly put forward motions seeking independence for Scotland. That hasn't passed either.
Majority of the MPs will not support this bill. The MPs probably know that too. They are probably trying to express their frustrations with CMAG.
Maldives will remain in Commonwealth although some in government and Majlis are quite upset with CMAG.
Democracy is a messy form of government played out in public and the media. Let us gt used to this.
Being in Commonwealth does not equate being civilised. The US did not sign Human Rights Charter. That does not mean US is ignorant.
Maldives has the right to pursue its own self interest. At the moment Commonwealth is dominating Maldives foreign policy in many ways - by providing office facilities In New York and in Geneva.
These two ignorants do not belong in the Parliament. Where are their constituents, please call for their resignation from their seats and elect more responsible MPs. We don't need such jokers, they are not being paid to ruin this nation! Maybe they both have too much oil in their system.
These ignorants they do not know what their colonial masters are and their contribution to Maldives and other commonwealth members. They know nothing about foreign policy or international relations. They are just in the majlis elected by maumoon to promote his 30 year old ideology. These power crazy people don't what would happen to the ordinary citizen.
Please withdraw now. I want nothing to do with Jews, and I'm pretty sure every single Maldivian brother and non-fornicating sister agrees with me....considering how they are 100% Muslim.
@Sheikh Imran Abdullah
You don't want to have anything to do with the Jews? Yet your sponsor Gasim Ibrahim lives on the income from selling alcohol and pork to those 'Jews' that you are talking about. So stop trying to b****** us, alright?
I am a muslim yet I am completely against withdrawing from the Commonwealth, a organization that has and continue to given so much aid to this country.
These backward, ignorant fools of MPs in the Maldivian Parliament make me cringe with embarrassment. The idiots who elected these MPs should be ashamed of themselves!
I partly concur with liberalmaldivian's assesment. I would take it further, in fact.
Anyone who has ever voted must face justice, and should be garrotted on the spot, post-haste.
Democracy is utterly deviant and I do not desire it for my womenfolk nor my children.
Height of idiocy!
These guys must be having kerosene oil in their brains!
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