MP Aslam: Whip issued as motion filed without discussion with parliamentary group

MDP Parliamentary Group Leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Parliament Group leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam, stated that the whip line was issued against accepting the emergency motion filed by West Henvieru MP Hassan Latheef on Monday to amend the regulation which allows deportation of foreigners caught with drugs.

MP Hassan Latheef submitted an emergency motion to the Parliament on Monday calling on the government to amend ‘Regulation on Entry by Air on Foreigners Suspected of Drug Trafficking’ in order to omit the contradictions in the law.

While 24 MPs voted to accept the motion for debate, 16 MPs voted for the dismissal of the motion. Speaking after the voting, MP Hassan Latheef underscored MDP’s parliamentary group issuing a whip line against accepting the motion despite it being submitted for an important cause.

West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Commenting on the matter, MP Aslam, underscoring there to be regulations and procedural standards approved by the MDP’s parliamentary group, said that the motion was filed without prior discussions with the parliamentary group.

“Parliamentary group acted on the emergency motion submitted today in accordance with its decision on submissions filed without the consent of the parliamentary group. The motion was filed without PG’s consent. Hence, we issued a two-line red whip,” he said.

MP Aslam detailed another reason behind the whip line as the motion accused the government of providing leeway to trafficking drugs into the Maldives as well as alleging that the motion was formulated unlawfully – both of which need to be challenged in court.

The regulation which came into force in January had become an issue after a Brazilian woman who arrived in the Maldives from Doha, Qatar was deported after 2.6 kilos of drugs were discovered in her luggage.

The regulation had subsequently garnered criticism – within the government, the main ruling party and opposition political figures.

In addition to MP Hassan Latheef, North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahumy and Vilufushi MP Hassan Afeef also criticized MDP’s parliamentary group’s decision to issue the whip line.