Amendment passed to suspend ex-pres' privileges until completion of sentence

The Parliament on Monday approved for former presidents to receive allowances upon the completion of serving sentences for criminal offences.

The bill on amendments to the Security and Allowances of Former Presidents Act proposed by government by Kanditheemu MP Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem, and sponsored by Hussain Ziyad, MP for Vaikaradhoo.

Before amendment, the 10th article of the act read that a former president is not entitled to receive a monetary allowance for his service if he is convicted of a criminal offense.

The proposed amendment was reviewed by the parliament committee on National Security and Foreign Relations, and approved to read that a convicted former president will be entitled to receive security and allowance once his sentence is completed.

The amendment was passed by the parliament on Monday with 58 members voting in its favour. Two members voted against the amendment.

Amendments have been brought to Security and Allowances of Former Presidents Act while former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom was found guilty of money laundering last week, and sentenced to five years in jail.

As long as the sentence is not overturned during appeal, President Yameen will not receive any allowance until his sentence is served to completion.

The Security and Allowances of Former Presidents Act stipulates a total monthly allowance of MVR 172,000 for a former president.