Majlis committee approves candidates for PIC and MMA, rejects prosecutor general nominee

Parliament’s independent commission’s oversight committee has interviewed and decided upon appointees to the posts of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Governer, and Prosecutor General (PG), as well as a member of the Police Integrity Commission (PIC).

The committee’s Deputy Chair Rozaina Adam told Minivan News that the committee had approved nominees based on a grading scheme, and that each nominee needed to get over 75 percent of marks to be approved.

“Nominees for two of the posts we discussed yesterday received the required percentage of marks, the other didn’t. Approvals are based on a preset grading scheme, and not on members’ opinions,” Rozaina explained.

The committee approved Dr Azeema Adam for the post of Governer at MMA and Aiminath Rukshana to be a member of the five member PIC.

Presidential nominee for the post of Prosecutor General, Maumoon Hameed, did not receive sufficient marks for approval.

Dr Azeema Adam has served at the MMA since 1991. She is currently serving as Assistant Governor and Chief Economist, Monetary Policy, Research and Statistics at the MMA.

Adam has a PhD in Economics from the University of Canberra and a Masters Degree in International Development and Finance from the University of Leicester.

Her nomination for the governors role came after Yameen had previously forwarded the name of Ibthishama Ahmed Saeed, an associate director at the Bank of Maldives, before withdrawing it amid suggestions the candidate was not qualified for the role.

Previous governor, Dr Fazeel Najeeb, resigned in December citing personal reasons – though he urged the government to reduce expenses and refrain from printing money during his final press conference.

Presidential nominee to the police watchdog body, Aiminath Rukshana, also received the required 75 percent marks. Rukshana is originally from Liyaage in Maafannu ward of Malé City.

Presidential nominee to the post of prosecutor general, lawyer Maumoon Hameed was not able to receive the required percentage of votes.

The PG’s position has been vacant since former PG Ahmed Muiz resigned from the post prior to a scheduled no-confidence vote. The duties of the PG are currently being temporarily conducted by Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem.

After a running dispute with the PG’s Office over the acceptance of cases following the expiry of the constitutionally mandated period for appointing a new PG, the Criminal Court resumed accepting new cases after repeated interventions by the Supreme Court.

President Abdulla Yameen has recently accused the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party – holder of a majority of seats in the oversight committee – of obstructing the government’s attempt to appoint a new PG.

Lawyer Maumoon Hameed is the son of the Gayoom administration’s Atolls Minister Abdulla Hameed, and the nephew of incumbent President Yameen and ruling Progressive Party of Maldives leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

MP Rozaina Adam stated that the committee will present the report on its decision to the parliament speaker on Tuesday.

A final decision on the appointments will be taken through a parliamentary vote. The vote has thus far not been scheduled on agenda.


MMA Governer resigns before calling on state to minimise expenses

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Governer Dr Fazeel Najeeb has called on the state to minimise expenses in a press conference held to announce his resignation on Tuesday.

Najeeb said that the biggest challenge faced by the country’s economy is the structure, which is inappropriate for a nation of this level. He elaborated on his comments, saying that the state often had to resort to printing additional money to meet the “far too hefty expenses of many state institutions”.

“A central bank must not resort to printing and releasing money, especially at a time when the economy is as weakened as it is now. Even more importantly, at a time when obtaining foreign currency is this tight,” he stated.

Najeeb advised that the best option to tackle the difficulty in obtaining foreign currency – due to the increasing amount of Maldivian currency being printed – is for the central bank to halt reprinting more Maldivian rufiya. He explained that increasing the amount of Maldivian currency being printed at a rate faster than it is possible to obtain foreign currency is one of the biggest threats to the economy.

He further called upon the parliament to expedite the passing of bills to facilitate increased state earnings and to improve the structure of the state.

He also appealed to the state to tighten fiscal policy so as to reap the best possible results from the established monetary policy framework.

Achievements during five years as governor

Announcing his resignation, Najeeb stated that he held no regrets regarding any decisions he had made while serving as governor, and that he was leaving the post in good conscience.

He confirmed that his decision to resign had not been due to any political pressure and that it had been purely a personal decision based on his familial situation.

Najeeb detailed what he described as his main achievements during the five years he served as head of the MMA, as well as other notable work he was leaving incomplete as he leaves his position.

Among the achievements mentioned, Najeeb noted the introduction of a banking law, a regulation under which banks and the financial sector can be regulated, and guidelines under which the insurance sector can be regulated.

He also added that he had been able to establish major developments on an operational level on an anti-money laundering structure with the involvement of many institutions.

He further highlighted other major prospects on which work had begun, but that had not yet reached completion. This included the establishment of an anti-money laundering act, an insurance act, and a mortgage act. He also spoke of having begun work on renewing the MMA Act and in bringing amendments to the banking law.

He revealed that he had sent drafts of many of the pending bills to the relevant authorities for amendments, tabling, and ratification.

Najeeb stated that he would not be seen in the political arena, adding that any work he conducted for the state in future will be on a purely voluntary basis.