The Ministry of Finance has filed a case with the police asking them to investigate the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on suspicion of trying to topple the government.
A press release issued by the ministry claims the court case recently filed against it by CSC over the salary issue is an attempt “to sow discord between the government and public.”
The ministry further accused the CSC of trying to “bring the government to a halt”, and claiming certain members of the CSC were using the issue as a cover to attain “a hidden political agenda.”
“The CSC is making it difficult for the government to implement the necessary economic policies [and are therefore] indirectly trying to damage the economy,” the statement said.
“[The CSC’s actions] will result in an increased budget deficit, make it difficult to maintain the value of the rufiyaa against the dollar and will damage the Maldivian economy, affecting each and every citizen of this country,” it accused.
“They will plunge the Maldives into chaos,” the statement concluded. It was signed by Finance Minister Ali Hashim who several MPs, including independent MP Mohamed Nasheed, have said will shortly become the subject of a no-confidence motion over his handling of the civil servant salary issue.
State Minister for Finance Ahmed Assad said it was “not up to us to investigate this, so we have asked police to do it.”
Assad said it was not only the court case that had made the ministry suspicious.
“It’s not one specific thing, it’s everything taken together,” he said.
Implying that all avenues for negotiation and mediation had failed, Assad said it was “the lack of a media announcement on anything like that that should make it obvious.”
Vice president of the CSC, Abdul Muhsin, said the commission had decided against commenting on the issue as “the case is in the court now.”
Asked what the commission made of the accusation it was trying to topple the government, Muhsin said “it’s just an accusation, they want to investigate it, all we can say is we are not doing that.”
President’s Office Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said “If finance ministry asked for an investigation it must be because they have genuine cause for concern.”
He said that while the CSC was legally assigned the task of deciding civil servants salary, “it still states that it should be done after discussion with the Ministry of Finance.”
“The CSC chose to ignore the finance ministry’s instructions and do what they want,” Zuhair said, saying it was an “irregular thing” and a view shared by the president.
“When you say ‘after discussion’ it means that both sides should sit and talk and a middle ground should be found to do things – you can’t just ignore one side,” he said.
He said the CSC is not pursuing the matter for legal reasons.
“There is some other reason involved in this. If it’s for political reasons, it’s not even a civil matter, it’s a criminal matter,” he said.
“The fact that two people who are handling their case are affiliated with the opposition that is trying to topple the government says a lot,” Zuhair suggested.