Malé, Maldives – 19 members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group have stood up against the party’s own whip lines, following the initiative of Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed.
Nasheed, who is the current President of the party voiced out against the whip line of his own party’s Parliamentary Group over the recent motion passed by the group to propose the removal of Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem from office.
In a Parliamentary Group meeting held today, the motion to oust Shameem was passed among the 21 members in attendance out of the total 65 members of the group. For various reasons, many members did not attend the meeting.
Following the decision of the Parliamentary Group, Nasheed messaged a WhatsApp group dedicated for the Parliamentary members of the party, in which he asked members who do not wish to vote in favour of the party’s whip line to list their names.
So far, it has been confirmed that 19 members have listed their names to this effect, including Nasheed himself.
As of recent, MDP’s internal division is becoming more and more apparent, with seemingly two factions being formed within the party – one of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and the other Speaker Mohamed Nasheed’s.
Local news “Dhauru” has reported that some members of “Nasheed faction” have said that MDP is releasing three line whips “how ever instructed by the government”, and that they do not wish to vote as such.
The outlet further reported that a member who wished to remain anonymous alleged that the situation is worsening due to excessive influence from the government to the Parliament.
While ruling party MDP currently hold’s super majority of the Parliament, MP Ibrahim Rasheed, who has stood up against the whip line is reported to have said that the government no longer has a super majority secured in the Parliament.
“There will not be sufficient members to even amend the constitution. [I] do not want to vote how ever the government pleases,” quoted Dhauru as said by MP Ibrahim Rasheed.
According to the regulations of MDP, opposing the three line whip of the party can be penalised by removing the member from the party. The first opposition will be met with a warning, which will be followed by a notice to issue an apology with addition action against the party which may even lead to being removed from the party, if repeated.