The opposition parties campaigning against the awarding of Male’ International Airport on Monday took the issue to the civil court, requesting a court order delaying the implementation of the agreement signed between the government and the GMR-Malaysia Airport Holdings consortium.
The case was filed hours before President Mohamed Nasheed announced that his entire cabinet was resigning due to the “scorched earth” tactics of opposition MPs.
Spokesperson for the joint opposition committee, Imad Solih, said on Monday that the parties had sought an injunction against the agreement proceeding “because it contains suspicious [elements] and issues relating to corruption.”
”When the People’s Alliance (PA) presented the issue to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) they replied that many of their members were away at the moment, and that they would investigate the case as soon as they return,” said Imad.
”That’s why we felt it might take some time, so we decided to request the court give out an order to hold the transaction till ACC finishes their investigation.”
Former Minister for Civil Aviation and Chairperson of Privatisation Committee Mahmood Razee said the agreement was an international agreement which “contained ways to deal with any kind of situation.”
”In the contract there are ways of responding to issues like these,” he suggested.
Secretary General of the PA, Ahmed Shareef, said there were “many issues of concern” which pointed to corruption in the deal.
”The GMR company was not a prequalified party in the bidding process, and neither was another of the companies that expressed interest,” said Shareef. ”There was no criteria for the bidders announced, and none of the bidders even knew the criteria.”
Shareef also accused the government of not consulting the Maldives Airports Company board members when making the deal.
”That is why some of the MACL board members resigned at the last minute,” Shareef said. “They did not agree with the deal. The government’s close relationship with GMR is one of the issues we presented to the ACC.”
He said these issued indicated that there were other concerning issues the party believed could potentially suggest corruption.
”The four opposition parties are against this deal,” he said. ”We will do anything that we could to stop this from happening.”