Parliament approves new auditor general

Parliament last night approved President Mohamed Nasheed’s appointment of Niyaz Ibrahim, of Thinadhoo in Gaaf Dhaal Atoll, as Auditor General.

Niyaz has voted in unanimously by all 68 members present during the meeting last night.

The Maldives has had no auditor general since the dismissal of Ibrahim Naeem over a year ago, following allegations that he had used government money to buy a tie and visit Thulhaidhu in Baa Atoll.

Naeem claimed the charges were an attempt to discredit his office and prevent him from reclaiming the government’s money stored in overseas bank accounts.

“A lot of the government’s money was taken through corrupt [means] and saved in the banks of England, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia,” Naeem had claimed in March, and requesting an audit of the assets of past and serving government ministers.

He was dismissed several days later in a motion put forward by the parliamentary finance committee, chaired by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim, who the previous week had pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the former ministry of atolls development while be was Managing Director of Namira Engineering and Trading Pvt Ltd.

Tension over the motion led to violent clashes inside parliament, which spread to supporters of both major parties outside the chamber. Police were forced to use tear gas on several occasions to subdue crowds of violent demonstrators.