Speaker will request for financial statements of spouse, children

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed (L) and spouse, Laila Ali (R) on November 1, 2018. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim)

Speaker of the Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed has said that he would request for the publicization of the financial declarations of his wife and former First Lady Laila Ali and his two children.

The Parliament, on Wednesday, voted in favor of amendments to the Parliament’s Standing Orders, eliminating the need for parliamentarians to publicize financial declarations of their spouses and children, who are under the age of 18 years, on the Parliament’s website.

The amendments passed today, still mean that MPs are required to submit financial declarations of their spouses and children on an annual basis, however, the information will not be publicly available. The amendments to the provisions were proposed by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. 

However, the Agenda 19 manifesto of MDP used for the parliamentary elections, stated that audited and prepared annual financial declarations of parliamentarians, their spouses and children below the age of 18 must be publicized on the Parliament website. 

This has created notable divisions among the public over the amendment passed today.

Speaking in today’s session, Nasheed said that the move very much carried the interests of the public, and reminded that the campaigns of MPs for the Parliament had also carried a significant amount of pledges for a transparent parliament with integrity. What is now arranged, is also how MPs wished it, said Nasheed.

“Since I am also a parliamentarian, I am clarifying to MPs that the financial declarations of my wife Laila, will be sent to the Audit Office. And since, my two children are aged above 18, under this law, their financial declarations do not have to be sent. It is in the hands of the parliamentarian whether to pursue this further or not. I will request my two children, to also send their financial statements somewhere.” Said Nasheed.

All members of the governing MDP spoke in support of the amendment today, which was passed with the vote of 62 MPs.