President Yameen has sent the names of three individuals who applied to fill in the vacancy in the Elections Commission (EC) following the resignation of commission member Ibrahim ‘Ogaru’ Waheed.
Earlier in October, Waheed stepped down from the five-member commission citing that doctors had advised him to not work in a stressful environment.
President Yameen sent a letter to parliament today (November 20) nominating former Deputy Commissioner of Police during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration, Mohamed Rishwan, former EC Director General Ismail Habeeb, and the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM)’s Elections Committee Chair, Mohamed Tholal.
According to local media reports, both Tholal and Habeeb have been previously sacked from prior positions at the Elections Commission.
Both the individuals however contested their dismissal in the Labor Tribunal, but the tribunal had only ordered Habeeb to be reinstated – which never happened, as Habeeb was later was appointed to the Civil Court as its Senior Administrator in March 2013.
Tholal, although he challenged the dismissal from the commission, later was appointed to a political position shortly after former President Mohamed Waheed Hassan took over power on February 7, 2012.
Former Deputy Commissioner of Police Mohamed Rishwan – after his retirement from the police force – applied for the membership of Police Integrity Commission (PIC) but upon the request of parliament’s Independent Institutions Oversight Committee, former President Mohamed Waheed Hassan withdrew his name.
The committee at the time noted that there were pending cases involving Rishwan.
In October 2011, the PIC found that Rishwan had ordered subordinates to cut the hair of a number of youth in police custody while he was serving as deputy commissioner in July 2010.
Following its investigation, the PIC asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to press charges against the former deputy commissioner.
Rishwan retired from the police service in July 2011.
According to the constitution, the parliament will appoint a member to the Elections Commission through a vote taken in its floor after a committee interview. The individual who attains the highest number of votes during the parliamentary vote will be nominated to the commission.
The parliament has not yet announced a date as to when the interviewing and nomination of the nominees will take place.