MP Azim cautioned for violating MDP’s whip line on tax hike bill

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

Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim has been cautioned for violating the three-line whip issued by ruling Maldivian Democratic Party’s parliamentary group’s three-line whip to pass the government proposed bill to increase Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Tourism Goods and Service Tax (TGST) without any revisions.

MP Azim announced he received a letter cautioning him for violating the whip line via a tweet. 

In his tweet, MP Azim pointed out that the letter was dated November 16, 2022.

“I have been cautioned for not voting to increase the tax levied from the people. Got the letter in hermit crab speed, just today, despite it being dated November 16, 2022,” he said.

The letter, signed by MDP’s parliamentary group leader Mohamed Aslam, described MP Azim’s failure to attend the parliament to vote for three-line whip, without obtaining prior approval over extenuating circumstances acceptable to the party’s leadership, as a violation.

“Advising honorable member against violating that party’s whip lines, and voting in accordance with it,” the letter read.

The bill was submitted by Ihavandhoo MP Mohamed Shifau on behalf of the government – which was designed to raise the GST from 6 percent to 8 percent, and the TGST from 12 percent to 16 percent. 

The bill was passed on November 16, 2022, by the votes of 55 members. 26 voted against passing the bill from which 14 were MDP members inclusive of MP Azim.