The amendments presented to the Act lowers the allowances granted to former presidents and also gives the authority to concerned department to cut the allowances if the department finds that the former president was misusing the allowances.
The amendment also requires the state to lower the monthly Rf75,000 (US$4863) financial allowance paid to Rf30,000 (US$1945).
Currently the Former Presidents Act obliges the state to grant Rf75,000 as financial allowance to any former president who has ruled the country for more than two terms, Rf50,000 (US$3242) as a living allowance for rent and other expenses of living and another Rf175,000 ($11,348) to setup his own office and deliver social services to the community.
The amendment presented by Musthafa states that if the former president already has a house or a part of a house registered on his name he shall not receive the living allowance, reduces Rf175,000 to setup his own office to Rf35,000 (US$2269).
The amendment document Musthafa presented states that the only person currently receiving the allowances mentioned in the Former Presidents Act – former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – had been granted the Rf175,000 allowance to to serve the community but had failed to do so.
Musthafa’s amendment also states that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has rented his own house and has been earning hundreds of thousands of rufiya each month, ‘’so granting another Rf50,000 for living would be unfair for the state.’’
Speaking on the amendment during the parliament sitting, Jumhoory Party (JP) Leader ‘Burma’ Gasim Ibrahim said he did not support the bill.
‘’Although Rf300,000 is allocated for him in the current [Former Presidents] Act, we know that he has been taking only Rf175,000 of it,’’ said Gasim. ‘’This is a big political game played to mislead the public.’’
Gasim also noted that Gayoom had publicly announced that he would not contest in any political elections.
Yesterday’s parliament session was cancelled after MPs started taking point of orders simultaneously. The Speaker decided the session could not be continued.
In March this year, an audio clip of a conversation made between Musthafa and Peoples Alliance Party (PA) MP Ahmed Nazim was leaked to the media.
In the voice clip, Musthafa explains that while he did not believe that former President Gayoom deserved financial benefits after returning to active politics, he had considered withdrawing the bill but was dissuaded by DRP Leader and MP Thasmeen.