Malé, Maldives – A new amendment has been proposed to Maldivian Parliament today, that prevents MP’s from taking indefinite leaves from Parliament and committee meetings .
MP for South Galolhu constituency, Mikail Ahmed Naseem’s proposal states that MP’s can get 15 days of leave without submitting a medical certificate. With a medical certificate, MP’s can get an additional 15 days of leave annually.
The proposal also stated that Members can get more days of leave under special circumstances, that is if they are involved in an accident or requires treatment for a serious illness.
This comes after recent social media outrage over parliamentarians continuing to receive very high salaries while not attending meetings. Many parliamentarians who have various external income sources are earning over MVR 74,000 – a considerable wage gap compared to the average Maldivian.
A recent report also revealed that four business tycoons turned out as the top absentees among the parliament members in the year 2020. The report named MP for Dhaalu Atoll’s Meedhoo constituency Ahmed Siyam (Sun Siyam), Jumhooree Party leader and representative of Alif Dhaalu Atoll’s Maamigili constituency, Qasim Ibrahim, Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem and MP of Kaashidhoo constituency, Abdullah Jabir as the top absentees of 2020.
Former President and Current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has also criticized parliamentarians with poor attendance and their supporters for repeatedly re elections of top absentees.
Today’s proposal has reportedly sparked outrage among the parliament’s majority party MDP, with the party’s PG whatsapp group filled with criticism of MP Mikail- who submitted the proposal.
The MP’s stated that they proposal aims to “bring them down to the level of civil servants”, with some saying that this will put them far behind company executives and Ministers, who stay in state cars for as long as they wish.