‘India Out’ bill on pause amid disagreement within MDP

Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Former MDP parliamentary group leader, Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim said on Monday that ‘pro-government parliamentarians’ harbored some concerns regarding the bill drafted by the main ruling party to counter the opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign.

The MDP parliamentary group voted in favor of submitting a bill to take criminal action against those who act and speak in a manner that disrupts diplomatic relations on February 9.

At the parliamentary sitting on Monday, Azim said his last work as MDP parliamentary group leader had been on the ‘India Out’ bill.

He said that work on the bill had stalled due to concerns within the MDP parliamentary group itself.

“There’s some major difference in opinion regarding this bill. We saw some major trepidation, some disenchantment, some disagreement, especially from parliamentarians who need the government’s support or need various things from the government,” he said.

Azim said he expects his successor, the newly elected MDP parliamentary group leader, North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam will re-schedule work on the bill and conduct the work by consulting the government.

Competition and differences between members who support President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and MDP leader and Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed has intensified as the party’s internal elections approaches.