MNP submits bill to halt state spending on political parties

Vilimale MP Ahmed Usham at a press conference by MNP. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Naail Hussain)

Maldives National Party (MNP) has submitted legislature to amend the Political Parties Act, designed to halt spending on political parties from the state budget.

The bill was submitted to the Parliament on Monday by MNP deputy leader, Vilimale’ MP Ahmed Usham.

Usham told Sun that the register of political parties wasn’t authentic, and that distributing state funds based on the register did not make sense.

“The register of political parties isn’t authentic. All political parties constantly complain about it. Therefore, we do not believe issuing funds from the state budget, issuing taxpayer money to political parties based on an inauthentic register is a sound policy,” he said.

Usham said that MNP did not believe the state should fund political parties, and that the parties must acquire funding on their own.

“We submitted this amendment because we do not support issuance of funds from the state budget,” he said.

Usham said that MNP’s bill was also designed to repeal the provision which required the dissolution of political parties that did not have at least 3,000 members.

The law dictates that political parties with membership of 10,000 and above are entitled to funding by the state.

The highest amount of money this year went to the main governing party, MDP, with MVR 15.02 million. PPM received MVR 9.4 million, while JP received MVR 5.5 million.