Opposition express concern at the absence of Anti Corruption Commission ahead of elections

Members of the ACC in 2019 | Photo: Maldives Independent

Malé, Maldives – The opposition expressed concerns today at the absence of Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to monitor the election with regard to the Komandoo by-election.

The members of ACC resigned on 27 December 2021 after the Parliamentary Committee on Independent Institutions recommended to dismiss all members of ACC.

The opposition expressed these concerns following a meeting between the Elections Commission and PPM/PNC coalition.

There is no institution to lodge complaints regarding corrution and influence at the Komandoo by-election to be held on 5 February 2021.

Vice President of PNC Ibrahim Shujau

Shujau also highlighted that the ACC members resigned following a special parliamentary sitting, leaving a void in the system.

[Elections Commission President] Fuad [Thaufeeq] agreed that this must not happen. [Elections] Commission members also agree that an election must not be held without the presence of an ACC.

Vice President of PNC Ibrahim Shujau

Shujau also accused the government of impeding on the rights of the opposition candidate. The PNC deputy leader also lodged a complaint against the government of influencing the election campaign by scheduling the trial hearing of the opposition leader ex President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom on the day he was scheduled to depart on the campaign trial.

The opposition through written statements submitted that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has accused the opposition candidate of drug trafficking and theft.

Human Rights NGO Transparency Maldives had previously called out the possibility of a vacuum in a key accountability institution with the dismissal of ACC members and the profound impact on ongoing cases and the potential delay in accountability for corruption.