Bill on discontinuing state benefits to ex-Presidents rejected

An amendment proposed to the Protection and Privileges for former Presidents Act by MP Mohamed Musthafa of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) was rejected 37-32 at today’s sitting of parliament.

In his closing statement after the debate on the parliament floor, Musthafa said that he did not have “anything more to say about this bill.”

“What I want is for those who have ruled this country to receive benefits and for them to stay silent at home under protection,” he said. “[I want] to give them benefits and for them not to come out to the street and act like children.”

In March this year, a leaked phone call between Musthafa and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim emerged in the local media, suggesting a secret relationship between the MDP MP and embattled Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.

Musthafa explains in the leaked audio 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 from doing so by Thasmeen.