Maamigili MP urge careful consideration on Israel passport

Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim claimed MDP's legislative amendment was aimed at usurping the PNC-led government -- Photo/ Parliament

Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim has alleged opposing Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is attempting to cull the incumbent People’s National Congress (PNC)-led government.

The outspoken MP said this directing to the MDP-backed legislative amendment bill submitted to the parliament seeking a ban on Israeli passports. The Maamigili MP also claimed further consideration is necessary before an effective travel ban on Israeli arrivals.

The bill, proposed by South-Galolhu MP Meekhail Naseem from MDP, was put on the fourth parliamentary sitting of the 20th assembly, on Monday.

During the debate on the bill, Qasim Ibrahim criticized MDP’s proposal claiming the party failed to make several considerations before the bill was proposed.

“I think this is an attempt to cull PNC-led government. The matter is of sentimental, religious, and nationalistic importance,” Qasim said.

PNC parliamentary group leader and Inguraidhoo MP Ibrahim Falah proposed to submit the issue to the Committee on National Security Services to expedite a conclusion on the matter, which was concurred by Qasim Ibrahim as well.

The Maamigili MP said thorough assessment is crucial before a complete travel ban on Israeli passport holders is announced formally.

“This requires careful consideration, which does not mean we do not think about the continued suffering of the Palestinian people. The decisions made by these members today must ensure safety for the Maldives and its future. We cannot do anything unless we are secure,” the Maamigili MP added.

Meekhail however, in response said Qasim’s allegation on MDP is a political agenda of the Maamigili MP.

The South-Galolhu MP said he was among the signatories on the motion submitted on October last year during the 19th assembly, condemning Israel’s attacks, while a second bill highlighting the same issue proposed by former Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla, was thrown out of the parliament owing to pressures from PNC.

The legislative amendment to the Maldives Immigration Act sought to issue a ban on Israeli nationals and passport holders in light of the continued acts of genocide by Israel against the Palestinian people.

According to the amendment proposed by the South-Galolhu MP, despite a motion calling for a ban on Israeli passport holders was passed during the 19th assembly, the state has not made a formal decision for a course of action or a timeline for it.

The legislative amendment seeks to add a clause to Article 8 of the Immigration Act, by including Israeli nationals or passport holders among the list of nationalities barred entry to the Maldives.

Meanwhile, the incumbent cabinet recently announced decision to ban Israeli passports for which it decided to form a committee to expedite the efforts.