Monday, November 17, 2008

Law on Privileges for Ex-Presidents Runs into Stormy Weather


The bill on Immunity and Privileges for Ex-Presidents, presented to the People’s Majlis by Meemu Atoll Member Aneesa has come for severe criticism from MPs. Most members who spoke on the bill appear to believe it was designed to give excessive privileges to a particular person. Such a view is at least partially justified considering that former president Ibrahim Nasir has lived for 30 years without any such privileges and no one appeared to be concerned about that.

One clause in the bill came for particularly harsh treatment –clause 2(b) that proposed to designate a ‘senior most state dignitary’ based on the number of years served as president. Members said this was a thinly veiled attempt to designate Maumoon to that position, because with his 30 years of service there was no possibility of anyone ever outdoing him. Other members thought designating an ex-president as the senior most dignitary infringed on the privileges of the incumbent president.

Members also criticized the proposal to give a house to each ex-president. Instead they proposed to give a living allowance and to allot a plot of land for those who did not own a house.
On the question of allotting staff for research, some members felt the government must not foot the bill for personal research, while research commissioned by the government could be paid. Similarly the number of personal staff could be reduced from 10 to 5 they suggested.

Most members also rejected the idea of paying to ex-presidents the same salary as incumbent presidents. Following this, the sponsor of the bill Aneesa downgraded the salary to three quarters of an incumbent president’s salary. On the question of providing security too, members felt that ex-presidents do not require the same level of security as incumbents.
The open-budget holiday package proposed in the bill was also severely criticized. Instead, members suggested a limited budget of $12,000 to $15,000 for the purpose.

The Majlis debate on the bill is still continuing and is likely to go to a committee. In the meanwhile President Nasheed has by decree sanctioned temporary immunity and privileges to former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

the guy is still insane. Unbelievable.....

Anonymous said...

The tsunami refugees are still living in tin cans and the majority of Maldivians are living in shanty town/Ghetto condition with no mean to finance building their house let alone earn a decent wage for their labor.

Yet President Nasheed and the Parliament find it top urgent to implement laws so that the Ex Dictators lifestyle necessities/goodies are met to live a posh comfy life.

How do they set their priorities? Mind you the Nasheed Government came to power brandishing their anti corruption slogans and giving the public their well merited respect in living a THAAHIRU DHIRIULHUN. Hehe and the first thing they do is mess up the priorities.

Anonymous said...

According to custom, the previleges should start 30 years after relinquishing power, when it is certain that the guy will not try to come back. Now Nasir can have his house. Gayoom will get his in the year 2038.

Anonymous said...

what to do even if maumoon said that he accepts defeat, he is still in the back-stage playing all the dirty games and pushing foward aneesa and people for the sake of his self-fish luxuries and commodities! Maumoon; you are physically+ mentally ill so boy get lost even from MALDIVES!

Rhetoric Thought said...

i think a staff of 2 would be just adequate for Maumoon.

$15,000 (192,750 MRF) for vacation per year i am not really comfortable with that either.

But his bill would also apply to President Nasheed when he resigns. So i think the Majlis would take into consideration that also.

Anonymous said...

all citizens must be equal by law and no one should be more equal than others be a president or a pauper.The politicians are no better people than ordinary pple of this country. they are not brought to the political ring by force, rather they have come and done their job willingly for that state treasure has spent thousands if not millions of rufiyyas on their wages, foriegn trips,vacations and other sorts of privileges.once they relinquish they become just like anyone else and as such they must also be entitled their pension and thats it no less no more.hopefully with his pension our ex-president can live a decent life.

minr said...

Issues of a house to ex-president
Why should a house be given to an ex-president? All Maldivians have the right to have their own property and Maumoon did say that people from the islands are flocking to male not because they don’t have a house. We all know he has his own land in Male. Nasreena has her own land plot in male. Isn’t that enough for them? Why should it not be enough when other people even FROM MAALE don’t have even a square foot to call it theirs? I am outraged.
And why should any ex-president be given a house in Maale? Is maumoon saying he is not good enough to live on another island where there is ample land?

Allowance
Giving a set allowance to an ex-president is alright I suppose. But surely it does not have to be the equivalent of the president’s salary!!! A quarter (even ½) of the president’s salary would be quite a decent amount in my opinion.
And isn’t maumoon eligible for the government pension? In fact double pension. So on pension alone he will be getting a fortune. Why more??????

Allowance for research
I say bullshit. If an ex-president is so keen on doing research let it be from his allowance. Or if he is so keen (but too stingy to spend his own money on his hobby) there are numerous grants that one can apply to. I so NO to research allowance. And NO to salary for personal staff. Amazed that the parliament is even considering giving him 5 staff.

Open holiday
My god - how greedy can people be? Most people in Maldives can hardly afford a holiday and the ex-president should be given an open budget for holiday expenses????? How do they justify it? Hasn’t maumoon and his family had enough open budget holidays as it is during the last THIRTY years?

This is all really pathetic!!!

Anonymous said...

ali said...
wht the hell.......aneesa, u r the 'royal p*********'...dont ever think of merry ex president.

Anonymous said...

Better pass a law to deport Gayoom, less headache for everyone.

Maldives said...

" I so NO to research allowance. And NO to salary for personal staff. Amazed that the parliament is even considering giving him 5 staff..."

Well,the high salary given to MP can be debateable too.Are they worth 60,000 rufiyaa a month?

masthuvunNuhuttuvunuWaheed said...

patiently listening... silence is on air... seeing who and who...

good. keep em coming.

Thorig said...

Continued salary, a good medical plan and personal security must be provided. Anything more is pampering.

We can't directly compare what other states provide outgoing leaders. Let's take India. GDP is about $1.1T. To spend $200K annually on a former leader takes just 0.000018% of GDP. For us $200K is a whopping 0.019% of GDP. So in perspective, we're spending over 1000x more on each ex-leader :o

faisal said...

I sincerely hope that the Parliament considers this Bill wisely and pass it keeping in mind that in the future, at any given time there might be a number of former presidents ( if one doesn't decide to follow in the footsteps of Maumoon).
Someone got it right when he said the current administration should get its priorities straight.
As far as I am concerned, it would serve everyones' interests to the best if Maumoon were to be banished to an uninhabited island.

Anonymous said...

"As far as I am concerned, it would serve everyones' interests to the best if Maumoon were to be banished to an uninhabited island."

This guy forgot that Maumoonu secured 46 percent of the vote

Anonymous said...

30 years of looting from state coffers,old man is still in sheer greed for more wealth.

Anonymous said...

[30 years of looting from state coffers,old man is still in sheer greed for more wealth.]

And those who participated with him in the looting are in the current govt.

What a change!

Anonymous said...

Ma. Kinbigasdhoshuge is maumoon's house, making it a godown and renting out is his own problem. Officical residence for every ex president is rubbish....