Parliament votes to dismiss Auditor General 43-28 in favour

Parliament today voted to dismiss Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem, with 43 voting in favour of the no-confidence motion and 28 against.

President Mohamed Nasheed was last night reported to be seeking to urgently meet with MPs, foregoing a function marking the close of the donor conference.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Shifaz said all the party’s MPs had voted against the no-confidence motion on Auditor General ”as it was a responsibility of the government to defend all its institutions, and we are on the government’s side.”

On the other side, MPs of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party-People’s Alliance (DRP-PA) coalition were joined by seven independents, the two Dhivehi Qaumee Party MPs and the sole Republican Party representative.

Shifaz said he believed the Auditor General had not committed anything that warranted a no-confidence motion.

”DRP want to remove him from that position due to the reports he released, which accused many senior leaders of corruption including former president,” he said. ”They had personal issues with him.”

He claimed the parliament procedures need to be changed and there were many things to be corrected.

”The speaker has not revealed the Anti-Corruption Commissions report to MPs yet, because it contains things which accuse his own party’s members of corruption,” Shifaz claimed.

DRP MP Ahmed Ilham said it was now “very clear” that the Auditor General was corrupt.

”Independent MPs who always vote on MDP side voted on DRP side today,” Ilham said.

He said the government was trying to defend Naeem in many ways, “which proves that the government is promoting corruption in the country in the name of erasing it,” he said.

”MDP MPs forced the parliament to be canceled two days, and MDP activists disrupted the peace of the nation just to defend the Auditor General.”

Ilham said that if there was a credible corruption case against former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, “the government should not wait a single second before investigating those cases.”

”Those are just rumors they spread,” he said. “Why won’t the government go ahead and prove it to the people?”

Ilham said while people believed Naeem was independent as the Audit Office was a independent institution, ”that the government tried to defend him proves he was a man fully on MDP’s side.”

Naeem was appointed by Former President Gayoom and a DRP-majority Majlis.

What happened

The Auditor General was accused of corruption by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for using the government’s 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 claimed two weeks ago, during his first press conference in eight months.

The motion to dismiss him was 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 over the weekend to subdue crowds of violent demonstrators.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair claimed the DRP were trying to remove Naeem because he had accused the party’s senior leaders of corruption during their administration.

”They are intending to spread doubt among the people, and they think it will be easier to defend themselves if the Auditor General is dismissed,” Zuhair said.

The dismissal of the Auditor General would “not be a big loss” to the government’s attempts to recover the money, ”as there are many professional accountants in the Audit Office”, Zuhair said.

He said all the political benefits being attributed to the no-confidence motion on Auditor General were due the government, ”as [Naeem] was elected by a majority of DRP MPs.”

The dismissal of the Auditor General is unlikely to slow the government’s appetite for reclaiming state funds it believes are stashed overseas.

Today during the closure of Donor Conference, President Mohamed Nasheed confirmed that a “stolen asset recovery program is part-and-parcel of the World Bank projects.”

“We are a member of that program and will of course be working within the framework available to us,” he said.

“If there are any stolen assets I’m sure we will be able to identify them, and if they are ill-gotten I sure we will we will be able to repatriate them.”

There was “no timeline”, the President added.

The Stolen Asset Recovery program (StAR) is a 2007 joint initiative between the World Bank and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “fosters much needed cooperation between developed and developing countries and between the public and private sectors to ensure that looted assets are returned to their rightful owners.”


16 thoughts on “Parliament votes to dismiss Auditor General 43-28 in favour”

  1. If the Auditor General is indeed corrupt, then congratulations to those who voted him out....but at the same time its obvious that DRP/PA were so desperate to vote him out because the AG office was trying to uncover their corrupt practices in the previous government.Its not like the corrupt leaders of DRP/PA are actually concerned about the welfare of the people of this country, more like their own...If DRP/PA are genuinely concerned about corruption, why tolerate all the corrupt members in their own parties? And what about the Deputy Speaker Nazim, against whom a court case is ongoing? He is in my opinion a thousand times more corrupt than Naeem...and why doesn't MDP MPs have enough gumption to play smart politics? Stop letting DRP/PA set the game plan for god's sake, do your own thinking and prove to your supporters that you the corrupt members of DRP/PA!I certainly hope that this won't be the end of MDP efforts to uncover the truth behind the "self made" millionaires of the previous regime! No wonder everyone's so into politics....they certainly won't have to worry about funding their retirement!

  2. The man bought a tie and went on one trip. There has been no proof leveled that the trip was a completely personal one, and the tie was reimbursed the moment they realized it was charged to the company credit card. Furthermore - it could have legitimitly been a warranted office expense to maintain the dignity of his office.

    This shows the power and strength of those who oppose a transparent accounting of the state of our nation's funds.

    As for Ahmed Ilham - the man does not realize how much work went into the embezzlement of funds. We have so many reports of state money being mismanaged, and a few key stories about how it has been stolen. But there are NO records in Maldives. All of those old records have been destroyed in freak fires or just simply "lost." It takes time and a tremendous amount of cooperation from foreign banks and governments in order to follow the trail of money.

    And regardless of what anyone says, this is a clear and huge blow to that effort. The next Auditor General is going to be too scared to even do his/her job properly.

    This is a sad day for our country.

  3. This is a bad move for the country and independent institutions. I dont agree with auditor general or most of what this government is doing. But if parliament do these type of things in just personal ground, democracy will never survive in Maldives.

  4. one tie or a hundred, one trip or a hundred - corruption is corruption. thank god, this came to light before the man bought two, ten, fifty, hundred ties and went on two, ten, fifty, hundred trips!

    our institutions seem to be working, albeit slowly and painfully!

  5. Maldivians are inherently treacherous lot with morally inferior values, why this proves it doesn't it.

    Any competent man could see that he was doing good work. An exceptional quality i would say.

  6. People who became rich at the expense of Maldives government are still in-charge.
    It is still like old days when people were sent to jail when he/she takes a fallen breadfruit. The people who swallowed millions are still at large in confirmable chairs. So where is justice? Shame to you all parliamentarians. Resign from your posts you don’t deserve MRF60,000 per month. Greedy ....

  7. Mr Ahmed Nazeer. Can u at least do some research before you write. When you say "a tie" he spent close to five hundred thousand rufiyya via his card. Please write something sensible even if u have to please your beloved "anni"

  8. AG will hopefully try to dig into FPID corruption case...great great great...

  9. What kind of country do I belong to? We have politians who has stolen hundreds of millions and abused their power beyond comprehension to ensure their families stay ahead of everyone else. Yet these people are still laughing and enjoying life in high places. What bothers me most is some peope who are very critical of Maumoon's ministers are now very keen to remove AG. Now we know what the true colours of these two-faced hypocrites are.

  10. I think Salim Waheed do not follow the actual case, or perhaps he is too stuborn to see if there is any real issues regarding the AG. What he do not know is parliment committee investigated found that naeem paid more than 400,000 rufiya from his visa and amex card. and most of this amounts were reinbursed a year later. some took even 14 months. a tie and a trip is only what has been told by AG. but the actual truth is he used state funds to finance his lifestyle for 14 months. who knows if he even had done business with that money.

    for your records trace Dhivehi Observer old records and check the week when naeem was appointment. There will be an article published by DO sappe regarding the corruption of Naeem on many many offices, i rememeber there was around not less than 100 corruption then. The moment naeem became MDP mouth peice, he became very innocent. this is the problem with MDP and govement. I bet if Gayoom join MDP tomorow, Anni will tell Gayoom is the most innocent person in this world.

  11. Anyone who browse the Audit office website (, could see that quotes from the holy book Quran, Steven Covy and even Thomas Jefferson.

    The Majlis have voted Mr. Naeem out, but the soul of the man should inspire, at least by the Quran quotes on the website.

  12. oh poor auditor general maakunbe'. oh how cuold these drp thugs do something to such an innocent looking gentleman who always wear nothing but white shirts and uses quranic verses to describe the country's financial situation? how could you do something so nasty to such a gentle looking man? oh how could you? he only stole money to buy a tie and when he got busted he even paid back. he only asked the clerks to change dates because there were some conflicting dates. i am ready to pay the VAT he got refunded for the vaio bought from singapore. becuase everything he did was to "maintain the dignity of his office." oh what a sad day for all those who have stolen our money and still keep stealing from us.

  13. These honourables who have been relentlessly striving for the no- confidence motion over the AG; as one can see are the real people who have been ram-sacking the nations coffers for 3 decades, and that they owe the nation in millions and millions of rufiya and dollars!
    DRP/PA and allies out of ignorance have walked in to a damning trap! Perhaps they now will regret it!
    Too late and it seem some guys will have to walk the rope!

  14. Mr Salim waheed dint u read da ACC reports... i noticed that Naeem bought mo items dan just a "tie" ..N even if it was a only a tie if he used dat credit card to buy a prsnl tie for him v call it as "curruption"
    Dont be so one sided ...:@

    I prsnlly m a big fan of Naeem cux of his incredible audit reports but corruption is corruprion n if da Auditor genral does it den it is considerd as a bigger mistake...

    well done parliment members....

  15. If removing Nameem from the post through a vote of parliament is democracy then its ok.But we want to see him tried him tried in the court and till then he is innocent.No one is guilty unless proven in the court.Let the law takes its own course.At the same time we want ACC to file cases in the court against former regime members who are cheating the public through parliament.What about those whose name appeared in the auditor general reports.The public can believe that democracy is working in Maldives till all are treated in the same manner even if it's former president Maumooon or DRP member Naazim of PA Yaamin.

  16. @Salim Waheed

    I am appalled that you try to clean the picture of this scandal. There is no way a corrupt culprit could be clean in words though you use any intellect. The fact is that ACC has even confirmed that Naeem has embezzled state funds who actually should be an epitome of honesty to everyone. Also, I've never read in any literature that countries should tolerate to minor corrupt offences in Independent institution as you have delineated in your comment. How disgusting you are to insinuate deceiving thoughts and that reminds me a famous quote "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"


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