Finance Minister and State Finance Minister resign

Local media has reported that Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz submitted his resignation today following an incident in which he was caught by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists while he was having a meeting with opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP and half-brother of former President, Abdulla Yameen.

The meeting was held inside Yameen’s car in a rarely visited area of Male’. MDP activists surrounded the car, which attempted to leave the area, and requested that Inaz step out because “it was wrong.” He was taken to party headquarters and pressured to resign.

Today Inaz told Minivan News that he would not like to say anything regarding the incident or about the rumors spread since Tuesday that he had resigned.

”Call the Press Secretary, he should tell the press very clearly,” he said when asked to confirm his resignation.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair told Minivan News that Inaz had sent the President a letter but that the President had not read it yet.

”So we cannot confirm if it is a letter of resignation,” Zuhair said, adding that he has not attended since the incident.

Meanwhile, Yameen told the press that the meeting had been called by the Finance Minister to discuss the 2012 state budget, passed by the parliament earlier this week.

However, MDP activists allege that Inaz was plotting with Yameen and making secret deals.

Meanwhile, Adhaalath Party has condemned the action of MDP activists that night as uncivilized and degraded.

Adhaalath party issued a statement following the incident saying it was “regrettable and was against the spirit of the constitution, laws and Islamic Democratic principles.”

Today State Finance Minister Ahmed Naseer has also resigned, although according to Zuhair he did not mentioned the reason of his resignation.


MP Musthafa blames ‘Reeko’ Moosa over finance controller’s resignation

Finance Controller at the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Ahmed Assad, resigned yesterday after attempts were made by MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik to exert undue influence over the senior government official, claims Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa.

In a text message circulated to several media outlets, Musthafa alleged that several “capable professionals and technocrats” were quitting the MDP government in protest of acting chairperson Moosa’s outsize influence and “corrupt dealings” for personal gain.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Musthafa claimed Moosa had asked Assad for Rf5 to 6 million (US$320,000-390,000) to complete a project awarded to Moosa’s company Heavy Load Maldives to construct the jetty off the island of Kumundhu in Shaviyani Atoll.

Assad was unavailable for comment today as his mobile phone was switched off.

“Assad refused to issue the money and he went into a quarrel with Moosa and Moosa attempted to use his position and authority to exert influence over him,” Musthafa alleged. “He also tried to influence Abdulla Ziyadh, civil engineer of Works Corporation and tried to collect money for a Heavy Load project before it was completed. They completed 20 percent of the work and asked him to pay for 70 percent of work.”

Ziyadh had resigned from his post at the Works Corporation under the Housing Ministry in the wake of the incident, Musthafa claimed.

“Moosa has also taken Rf4 million (US$260,000) worth of oil for credit from Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM) and tried to get more oil for credit without paying for the oil he purchased earlier,” he alleged.

Musthafa said he planned to submit an amendment to the MDP charter to ensure that a businessman could not hold the post of chairperson.

Responding to remarks made by Moosa in the local media that Musthafa was “using my name to gain fame for himself,” Musthafa said: “,I ‘Seafood Musthafa’, was more famous and a millionaire in this country when Moosa was riding a bicycle around Henveiru.”

Contacted for a comment today, MP Moosa Manik said he did not wish to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said Assad had not divulged the reason for his decision to leave the government in his resignation letter.

“Unless he confirms the allegations, I would say that is just political speculation and theories,” said Zuhair, referring to Musthafa’s allegations.