28 December 2009. Finance Minister Ali Hashim failed to appear before parliament’s internal affairs committee today; after he was called to clarify the manner in which independent institutions in the Maldives are funded. Hashim was asked to appear after institutions including the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), the Election Commission (EC) and the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) complained to parliament that they lacked financial independence and must “beg” for funds from the Finance Ministry. “He left the country,” said independent MP Mohamed Nasheed, the committee’s chair. A question of independence “We don’t get any finance for our programs unless the Finance Ministry approves it. The finance minister had previously suggested a percentage of the institution’s budgets might be made available, “but that still doesn’t solve the issue,” Nasheed argued.