Ministry of Finance asked to provide list of political appointees

Minister of Finance and Treasury Ali Hashim was asked today to provide the Parliament with details of the number of political appointees, their titles and salaries under the current government.

Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed requested the information from the minister.

He said there had been a “war on words” regarding the number of political appointees in both the former and current governments, with some people saying there were as many as 600 appointees while others claimed there were fewer than 300.

“There has always been a comparison between this government and the previous one,” Nasheed said, referring to one of the things the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) criticised most about the former government: that it was =‘top heavy.’

Nasheed said he did not ask Minister Hashim for a list of cabinet members or even for the VP’s salary, only for the number of appointees, but the minister “is providing more than I asked for.”

State Minister of Finance Ahmed Assad said the Ministry of Finance would provide Parliament with the list of appointees soon since “there is no reason to withhold it.”

Whether or not the list would become a matter of public knowledge, he said, was “for Parliament to decide.”

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Visaam Ali said the DRP was “really concerned” about the number of political appointees under the current government.

She said she was not only concerned about the government being “top heavy” but was worried because “they advocated different views” during their election campaign in 2007.

“What they are doing is different to what they promised the people,” Visaam said. “They promised the people an MDP government would be different.”

She added that the number of political appointees is even “worse than under the previous government” and there are more political appointees now earning higher salaries that they were under Gayoom’s government.

MDP Spokesperson Ahmed Haleem said government appointees “are not an issue” for the party, but issues dealing with civil servants were a major priority.

Haleem said during the 2007 presidential campaign, MDP had told the people they wanted the government of Maldives to be smaller.

“The former government had over 1,000 political appointees,” claimed Haleem. “Now we have just over four hundred.”


23 thoughts on “Ministry of Finance asked to provide list of political appointees”

  1. According to Finance Minister Hasim's statement at the Majlis the previous government had 135 political appointees compared to 368 political appointees in Nasheed's government. Even if the Atoll and Island counselors are exclude from the list there would still be 181 political appointees in the government.

    My question is do we really need 368 political appointees to govern our tiny country when large countries like the United Kingdom have less than 300.

    President Nasheed deceived us to get elected. The election promise of a smaller government has also turned out to be a lie. I believe Nasheed no longer has the moral authority to be our President.

  2. What Minister Ali Hashim has revealed is just the tip of the iceberg. The benefits and allowances received by the political appointees are probably higher than their salaries.

  3. and why do we need 400 political appointees and esp since majority of them are uneducated bumbling fools who could not govern them self out of a shoe box ?. currently
    Ireland has (6), New Zealand has (0),
    United Kingdom has (28), Canada (80), US has (148) and Australia has(227) political appointees including the ministers (2007, Carl Dahlström
    ). If these country's with far larger populations and dispersed geography can govern with so few appointees. So what if the former government had more appointees. The current government came to power promising change, we the people have to hold the current government to their promises not compare them against the previous government. With the figures Haleem is quoting current government is top heavy not mention incompetent. The current tactic employed by MDP seem to be same tactic employed by the Republican party in us. When ever they been called out on some wrong doing only response is.. "But.. but... previous government.."

    Ref(Dahlström, C. (2009). Political appointments in 18 Democracies, 1975-2007. University of Gothenburg, Department of Political Science. GÖTEBORG: University of Gothenburg{})

  4. There aren't benefits and allowances like what existed under the previous regime. In the last government, the majority of people worked as political appointees.

    There simply is no comparison.

    Other countries like the US has thousands of appointments made. You have to have political appointees in order to put forward the national development framework in an effective manner. Its the way government works.

    This is a complete waste of time. Instead of politicizing EVERYTHING, why can't the Majlis just get some real legislation through.

  5. @yameen (Dahlström, C. (2009). Political appointments in 18 Democracies, 1975-2007. University of Gothenburg, Department of Political Science. GÖTEBORG: University of Gothenburg{})

    @salim wahaeed see above research which clearly states that you are wrong. The only developed country with more than 1000 appointees is Italy with 1050 appointees the next highest is France with 430. yes their is simply no comparison cause the situation in maldives is as ridiculous as it has ever been. And what do you call living allowances given to these appointees? which is more than all the allowances combined that was given under previous government.On top of that these appointees did not take a salary cut when civil servants serving under them did. yes their are no benefits and allowances like the previous government. All of it has been "re-structured" to benefit these uneducated idiots. your argument is both misleading and false

    As for this being a waste of time. The whole point of separation of powers into the judiciary, the legislative and executive is to maintain check and balances and this is part of the check and balances the public needs to know how much of OUR money is being paid for these seat warmers.

    As for politicizing every thing. Wasn't this the exact thing the MDP was doing when they were the opposition? Dont cry when the shoe is on the other foot.

  6. @Salim Waheed

    I wonder how disgusting and hypocritical you are? You are defending this "day light robbery" and it is quite absurd that you compare the number of political appointees of USA with Maldives. What type of a moron you are. Did you ever know how hard Maldivians are working day and night to earn this money and you people are exploiting all these money.

    Restructing and reducing the number of political post was one of the promise of your Dads coalition government. You could have fooled the Maldivians before.Today we have smart Maldivian out there who wont accept any hearsay of your Dads government and you know what, these people are being educated during Maumoon's presidency although you try to portray him as a Dictator. A fact quite unpalatable, isnt it?

  7. Jeffrey:

    What can I say? This extremist Jeffrey has to defend anything this govt. does since his cowardice papa, Fili Waheed, is the Vice President.

    Idiot! The govt. is now giving more money to the appointees than the previous one. Look at the number even? What the heck is wrong with you to compare each & everything with U.S? Even if they have flawed one do we really need to follow instead of doing the right thing.

    Typical hypocrisy of you!

  8. Perhaps it would have been easier for Anni to govern the country if 100% of all senior staff he inherited weren't political appointees of the previous president. This one hundred percent of the people he had to work with made their way to the influencial posts through corruption and favouritism. They owed big time to Maumoon. These people then outright refuse to coorporate with the new government. These were not arms length civil servants. These were defacto civil servants who in reality were political appointees of Maumoon. So even today, there are more political appointees of Maumoon than that of Anni. Tell me which of the above countries had their president inherit a workforce of political appointees from previous era. So stop compairing Maldives with Western democracies. Anni needed people he trust. He needed his people to do even the smallest of tasks with sincerity. Because everybody else were political appointees of Maumoon.

  9. The way some people a trying to justify this is pathetic. No other country big or small has 77parliamentarians, 55 state ministers, 78 deputy ministers and many other political appointees. If you include the ‘political activists’ to whom this Government gave jobs in utility companies and other Government companies the number would be close to 1000. This is nothing short of day light robbery.

    I pity MDP for its spokesperson. I honestly don’t understand how a man who dropped out of grade 5 could become the spokesperson of the ruling party. What a joke.

  10. UK has almost 120 ministers. India, a country of with more than a billion people, has 78.

    Maldives a country of just 300 thousand people, almost on the verge of bankruptcy, has over 140 (ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers). In UK they are concerned. They know they have to reduce the number. But our MDP Spokesperson thinks political appointees “are not an issue”. I don’t know what to say.

  11. @HassanK "But but but Mamoon.." right? Your reply is typical MDP rationalization always calling out DRP/Mamoon boogie man when your failures are presented.

    Show me one case of civil servant not doing what they were told to do ? show me one case where they have refused to implement hair brained schemes of current government no matter how retarded they are .

    The policies of the current government seems to be "Purge" the well educated and experienced personal from their posts and replace them with "Loyal" incompetent fools akin to Starlin's purges and purges in Iran after the fall of Shah.

    MDP is the Maldivian version of Bolsheviks. Started a moment with "Ideals" but once in power got corrupted by it.

    Lord actions words come to mind with this current situation "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

  12. I voted for Anni. But its sad to know that the current government cannot pay decent salaries to doctors, engineers and other civil servants after paying huge salaries to 400 political appointees and 70 MPs. Is this the system we want for this country with just 300K people.

    Its time for the current government to resign and have a mid term presidential election - as Anni promised.

  13. Do not be foolish to forget Maumoon just yet. You might not like it but I don't see you dispute the fact that just about all senior figures of current civil servants are hand picked by Maumoon & Associates but you fail to see that will have any affect on the capacity of the next president to run the country. Denying this fact is simply ignorance.

  14. @HassanK

    I dont perceive that anyone who chastise the fake policy of Anni's government is a lunatic. It is very unjust that you try to distort the fact. Despite Maumoon possess a dictatorial traits in his presidential terms, he was the epitome of democracy in his final term and he has shown the best leadership even to deal the opposing civil servants who were finally been swayed to his policies. I can presume how the government of Anni would dealt, if such an oppression is shown from the public. A good example is the case of DHITV license.

    Dont try to distort and misconceive the people. The poor Maldivians are out there expecting for a better change & better life.

  15. I think people are confusing presidential political appointees with state ministers. Those are two different things. The United States actually has around 3500 appointees and they are no trying to pass a bill to cap that to 2000. But ya, I guess 368 is a lot for a small country like Maldives and may be there is a way to cut it down.

  16. The strength of MDP and its intellectual capacity one can easily asses the answers we usually hear from its spokes person Haleem, this guy never said anything relevant to whats been asked. I wonder from where he was educated, Isn't there any other person who can give some sensible answers to us in MDP than this guy.

  17. @Nashath:

    "On top of that these appointees did not take a salary cut when civil servants serving under them did".
    - I believe you are ill informed on this because political appointees have been taking a pay cuts from the beginning. For eg, Deputy Ministers' take a 20% cut: whilst their salary is at 35,000, their home after cut is only 28,000. This has been going on since the first few months into the new govt.

    "these uneducated idiots"
    - Again you are misinformed, because not all of them are uneducated nor idiots. I work at a ministry with just 4 political appointees, all 4 of them have Masters degrees in their fields of work.

    But I agree overall, govt needs to cut down on the numbers. Some ministries like Fisheries dont need 3 State Ministers... We might need to re-think Majlis numbers while we are at it.

  18. I too pity how a man who dropped out of grade 5 could become the spokesperson of the ruling party

    I pity even more how a man qualified only for a car driver job could become a Parliamentarian.

  19. Almost all the top posts in the Civil Service had been given by Gayoom to DRP members before Civil Service Commission created, so that Gayoom regime did not require creating all their posts political.

  20. What is this obsession of Maldivians with acedemic qualifications? The only place you learn is not university. People should be judged by their track records, not by their deplomas. There are more successful people without a masters than their are with masters degrees. This mentality of rising to the top on the back of a qualification without actually knowing how to deal with practical realities is a phenomenon championed by the previous regime. This was a guaranteed way of "legitimately" lifting their sons and daughters to top positions. Unfortunately this mentality has rooted too deep into the society and everyone seem to think the higher your academic qualification, the more successful you've become in life.

    The reality is that the so called uneducated MDP guys were the ones who pulled off the unthinkable. They researched, organised and carried out the hardest thing in the whole world - peacefully winning a government from an autocratic ruler. In the mean time, the so called educated lot was fence-sitting, hoping that the government WILL change (lets face it we all thought Maumoon had to go). They also believed themselves - the educated elite, should be placed in high offices when MPD does win but in effect was not active. Some were too scared to say anything about Maumoon and some actually didn't know what to do regardless of their PhDs, yet they all expected to enjoy the bounty.

    When you digest what had happened, it was the 'uneducated' MDP fellows who knew what needs to be done and who did it. They were the more sophisticated people. They produced the results. If you like them, they were clever. If you don't like them they were deceitful. In either case they outwitted everyone else to win, to deliver results. They hold the better track record, not you the educated elite. So before lamenting on about their lack of qualifications, just think for yourself - would you rather have someone who hold a fancy qualification or someone who has a proven track record of delivering results.

  21. Hey, hey! now President nasheed may have 300 appointees, but only 20 of them are working for salries...Did you get that? the rest are just die hard MDP activist working for free. Do you guys still have a problem with that?


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