MDP halts party benefits to Bonde over triple whip line violation

Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed (Bonde). (Photo/People's Majlis)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), on Sunday, halted party benefits granted to Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed (Bonde) over the violation of three whip lines issued by the party’s parliamentary group during the previous session of the parliament.

Whip line violations from Bonde;

  • Tax hike bill
  • Supplementary budget of last year
  • Proposed budget for this year

Bonde was cautioned via letters for voting against the aforesaid three matters in violation of the whip line. In this regard, he was advised against violating whip lines in a letter dated November 22, 2022 for voting against the tax hike bill.

A second letter dated November 28, 2022 reprimanded him for voting against the supplementary budget in which he was also instructed to issue an apology.

The third letter, dated the same day, informed him of the halt of party benefits as decided by the MDP’s Action Committee and informed to the party’s Chairperson.

Bonde said that although all letters were dated last year, he only received them on Sunday.

In a letter to MDP’s parliamentary group leader Mohamed Aslam, Bonde explained his reasoning for the violation of the whip lines.

In this regard, he detailed that he voted against the tax hike bill as he believes an increase of taxation levied on the people before they could recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 situation was unjust and cruel.

Meanwhile, he said he voted against the supplementary budget for last year and the proposed budget for this year as two recommendations seeking details of the figures stated in the budgets were blocked.

In his letter, Bonde said that he was not the only one who violated the whip line – emphasizing Aslam had done the same on many occasions.

“Taking action against only some of the members who violated the whip line is discrimination,” he stressed.

Bonde described action against him for violation of whip lines as an attempt to dismantle a particular ideology.

He also expressed not knowing what benefits have been halted.

“I think the benefits are the trips I am sent abroad by the parliamentary group on matters pertaining to the parliament. I do not believe this to be a benefit, but rather a responsibility,” Bonde told Sun.

Bonde is a supporter of MDP’s leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed who actively campaigned for him in the party’s presidential primary.