Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Abdulla Yameen has proposed that the Committee on Independent Institutions investigate allegations of sexual harassment against a member of the Elections Commission (EC).
Following a staff protest at the EC in March, a complaint was lodged with the oversight committee that some members were acting in breach of existing laws and regulations. A female employee of the EC who had attended a related committee meeting in June stated then that a member would take hold of her hand while she was serving drinks.
Chair of the committee Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed shared details of the issue. He stated that Yameen was referring to a matter where a female employee had stated that when she served coffee to a particular EC member, he would “take hold of [her] wrist and do something.”
Stating that the accused member had been summoned and questioned on the matter previously, Nasheed clarified that the issue was not an actual complaint filed by any staff member of EC.
Nasheed stated that after reviewing the responses the committee had at the time decided that it was not an issue that needed further attention.
However Yameen said that the matter should be reviewed under the clause regarding Personal Relations of Employees. He proposed that the employee who had made the allegation be summoned to committee to clarify more details of the matter.
Yameen raised the issue the day after the President of the Civil Service Commission Mohamed Fahmy was voted out of his post under sexual harassment allegations.
All PPM MPs who participated had voted against the removal of Fahmy.
Speaking at the debate on Fahmy’s removal, PPM MP Shifaq Mufeed said “We might be faced with an unrecoverable loss if we remove Fahmy, as he is a member of both the CSC and the JSC (Judicial Services Commission). If we remove Fahmy, there may come planned false allegations against other members of independent commissions.”
Elections Commission Vice President Ahmed Fayaz said that he had no knowledge of the matter.
“I have never received a complaint as such from any staff member about any EC members. Nor do I have any knowledge of such a complaint being even officially lodged, verbally or written, at either our commission, the police, gender ministry or anywhere else,” he added.
Minivan News tried contacting Yameen at the time of press, but he was not responding to calls at the time of press.