Presidential Commission member resigns over “political influences”

Presidential Commission member Idham Muizzu Adnan resigned from the commission yesterday, claiming a lack of transparency and impartiality.

The Presidential Commission is an independent body created by President Mohamed Nasheed in May 2009 to investigate corruption allegations in the country. The president was also responsible for appointing all of its members.

Spokesperson for the Presidential Commission, Abdulla Haseen, said the commission’s mandate was to investigate corruption cases, particularly targeting people accused of corruption under the previous regime.

However Adnan, who has worked with the commission since it was created, said he resigned because of “certain political influences” that were being imposed on the commission.

“I agree the president has the power to dictate [how the commission is run]… but he should do it in a reasonable and impartial manner,” Adnan said.

Adnan said sometimes the commission was pressured “not to call on certain people” when investigating a case, or was advised not to disclose certain information to the public.

“In decree, the commission is to function independently… [it] should not be used as a tool to protect people or attack opponents.”

Furthermore, “we should be allowed to disclose any information [we find],” he said, “because these corruption issues need to be investigated.”

Adnan said a press conference scheduled for yesterday evening was cancelled at the last minute on request from the President’s Office, which made him reconsider his position in the commission.

“I feel [the commission] cannot function in an impartial manner,” Adnan said.

Haseen confirmed Adnan’s resignation and said Adnan “is really concerned about transparency… he is not satisfied with our decision to postpone a press conference.”

Haseen confirmed the scheduled press conference was postponed “on the advice of the President’s Office.”

He said the commission gives press conferences “frequently” and this one was postponed “because the issue is quite controversial.”

The Presidential Commission is allowed to share information with the public, Haseen said, but “we have some limitations.”

Haseen explained that once the investigation of a case is completed by the commission, a press conference will normally be held before the registration report is sent to the police. The police then have to send it to the Prosecutor General’s office, who decide whether the case will be sent to court.

Although Haseen said the President’s Office “never intervenes with the process” of investigation, on this occasion, “Mr Adnan is not happy about it.”

Haseen said the commission regularly seeks the president’s advice, since “he appointed the commission, it is related to his advice,” and their investigations are always “cooperative.”

Haseen said the issue of the commission’s transparency was “nothing to worry about.”

Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said President Nasheed expressed his regret about Adnan’s resignation, and thanked him for his sincerity and the legal advice he provided the commission.

Zuhair noted the President created the commission to strengthen the role of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), among other independent commissions

“The Presidential Commission is an auxiliary body to help police and other agencies at the front line of legal matters,” Zuhair said.

He said he believed Adnan “jumped the gun” with his resignation.

“He may have other assumptions [about the commission],” Zuhair said.

Zuhair said the press conference that was cancelled yesterday had originally been scheduled for Thursday, but the commission postponed it until Sunday “for their own reasons.”

He said the president then wrote a letter to the commission asking for the details of the press conference, “saying he should be informed of the key points to be made public.”

Zuhair said “it would not be the decent thing to do to go ahead with the press conference without giving the president the facts he wanted. It is the Presidential Commission. The president is the head of this body.”

He said the president “didn’t want to jeopardise the legal process” by revealing certain information before the case was made public and sent to the police. “The president wanted to know whether the commission had a water-tight case.”

But he assured “there was no order [made] to stop the press conference.”


5 thoughts on “Presidential Commission member resigns over “political influences””

  1. It is true, Anti Corruption Agency should be fully transparent and independent. But I do not know from this article if there is any blame going on, misunderstanding or what type of political influence which was disliked by one of the commission members. So it would not be right for me to comment on something I myself do not know the facts fully. But even if evidence is there to prosecute anyone from previous regime, will they ever be prosecuted with the same corrupt judges that exist still? Cant even prosecute gang members, so how will they prosecute ex-politicians who ate loads of cash while in power? Money is gold for corrupt judges.

  2. This is whats wrong with our nation, people who can be bought for money, we are not only talking about judges as Muad mentioned, but this disease runs straight to the top, the upper echelons as this case clearly shows to a person with a bit of sense. Not to people like Muad who is under the illusion that the presedential commission is the anti corruption commission from his comment maybe because he most probably has the yellow fever and therefore is not making or talking sense.

  3. i'll tell you this there are lotta people in maldives who are power plus money hungry, this guy muiz must have found some other way to make money, and wanted the president to look ugly that wud be the bottom line , there are some more beykaaru "useless" people like his brother another muizz in state defence minister, please president get away with these idiots who are power hungry who cannot live without Diplomatic passports and money.. get some competent people who will work for you and the betterment of people .. corrupt free people , cause im sure your not like one of those, so please pull out people who might give you bad names.. cause we love you .. pull out adil saleem , and some people who damaging your reputation ..

  4. Muizz in fact have made a principled move which did not have its place in the current political climate.

    Protectionism does exist among the MDP administration regardless of what optimistic idealists may want to believe.

    Pinning corruption as the hallmark of one particular party or individuals opposed to the dominance of the ruling party is both illogical and harmful to the creation of a culture of respect towards the rule of law and executive accountabilite here in the Maldives.

    The MDP administration has made laudable progress towards stabilizing the economy and fostering a culture of better financial management. It is also the first government administration with a sincere commitment to universal human rights and social welfare. However, this does not make the MDP's actions unassailable.

    Strengthening and gearing the media towards addressing issues without wearing its bias on its sleeve is of paramount importance. However the list of candidates for the Media Council reads as mostly a roster of individuals whose names are synonymous with their party affiliations and self-interest. If I may be allowed to make a prediction, the Media Council is bound to become a circus unless and until professionals and expertise are attracted by higher remuneration and better governing laws.

  5. "Useful" and "Useless" depend on liking and not liking.
    So if one do not like, these Muiz brothers will be useless to him/her.

    Principle wise as Hamza say, his move away from the commission seems to be based on what he believed.

    What can possibly be believed is that today people can see and are looking at what is happening and going on in the Political Arena and are aware of the power hungry and corrupt are working their ways to "paw" people's money usual!

    Good governance cannot be achieved through illusions or otherwise. It will have to come by transparency, impartiality and truth, which in this case seem to differ!


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