4 October 2018
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president-elect of the Maldives, has scored another victory by securing a majority in Parliament after the Elections Commission restored 12 lawmakers who were earlier deemed to have lost their seats. The restoration of the lawmakers is a sign that Solih is consolidating his victory against outgoing strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who appears to be losing his grip on state institutions. Solih’s opposition coalition will now have 43 members in the 85-member Parliament while Yameen’s party will have 40.
Recent news reports indicate Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating outgoing president Abdulla Yameen related money laundering cases. Reports claim the Anti-Corruption Commission has requested documents from Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), a wing of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) responsible in investigating financial offenses. Investigation at ACC follows a complaint filed by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). The case alleges that the outgoing president Abdulla Yameen borrowed USD100 million from an Indonesian national; which was afterwards transferred through various local bank accounts.
Yameen’s party, PPM, passed a resolution proposed by Ibrahim Muaz Ali, Yameen’s spokesperson, in a small group that it would not accept Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as lawfully elected president. It has initiated a nation-wide protest against the president elect. PPM also issued a statement that there was a spike in the number of threats, assaults and bodily harm against the party’s nationwide base. This indicates that Yameen is trying to discredit the recent elections and trying to stay in power. He may incite violent clashes which will give him an opportunity to declare emergency rule and continue his presidency. For this he needs the support of the army and the police, both of whom have declared that they will respect the will of the people.
Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) in a press conference said that it has not withdrawn any case involving sitting President which the Financial Intelligence Unit of MMA has submitted to Maldives Police Service for investigation. MMA’s press conference comes after Spokesperson at President’s Office, Ibrahim Muaz Ali, said the letter was later withdrawn by the FIU.
Earlier FIU had sent a letter to former Commissioner of Police Abdulla Nawaz surfaced, in which the unit asked police for investigation into a USD 1.5 million transfer to Yameen’s personal bank account at Maldives Islamic Bank just ahead of the elections.