MDP Women’s Wing protest against alleged sexual harassment, call for Fahmy’s resignation

The Women’s Wing of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) gathered outside the government Velaanaage building yesterday in protest at alleged workplace sexual harassment faced by females.

The protest was held after Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chair Mohamed Fahmy Hassan was last week requested to stand down from the position after an Independent Institutions Oversight Committee vote on accusations he harassed a female member of staff at the commission.

Fahmy has continued to refute the allegations, which he claims are “politically motivated”.

The MDP stated that the protest was held to stand against sexual harassment faced by Maldivian women at the workplace.  The group also demanded the resignation of Fahmy within the 14 day time period requested by the parliament Independent Committee.  The 14 days will be up next Wednesday (July 25).

Around two dozen protesters gathered outside Velaanaage at about 2:00pm yesterday, with the demonstration reportedly ending peacefully two hours later.

Protesters were seen holding banners calling on the immediate resignation of CSC Chair Fahmy and other banners mostly expressing disappointment for Fahmy still being in the position.

After parliament’s Independent Commissions Oversight Committee concluded its investigation into the case, the decision was taken to forward the issue to the parliament floor should Fahmy not resign within the 14 days.

Local newspaper ‘Haveeru’ have speculated that there was a chance that Fahmy will not lose his postion as the Chair of the CSC if the issue was presented to the parliament floor. The newspaper reported that Fahmy has close relations with government-aligned MPs that dominate the Majlis chamber, according to some political figures.

In the parliament committee meeting, five MPs voted against taking action against Fahmy and the other five MPs voted in support of taking action against Fahmy and the vote was even.

In such situations where the vote appears even, the regulations obliges the Chair of the committee to vote. It was decided ultimately that action should be taken against Fahmy was passed after the Chair of the committee Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed voted in favor taking action against Fahmy.

The committee took the decision on July 11.