Powerhouse manager transferred after election loss

Powerhouse manager transferred after election loss
May 13 17:36 2017

The assistant manager of the powerhouse on the southern island of Thimafarushi in Thaa atoll has been transferred after refusing to resign in the wake of the ruling party’s loss in the local council elections.

Three days after the polls, Ahmed Ilhan received a notice signed by Ahmed Shareef, managing director of the state-owned Fenaka Corporation, informing him of his transfer to the island of Baarah in the northernmost atoll.

“They did not state any reason, I was just provided with a notice. It is pretty obvious that the arrangement is made because of the elections. Our MD earlier said such changes would be made if the government loses,” Ilhan told the Maldives Independent.

The notice did not state a reason for the transfer but ordered Ilhan to report to duty on May 16 as the assistant manager of the Fenaka branch on Baarah. Ilhan said he has not yet decided on complying with the order.

The Fenaka media official was unavailable for comment.

Ilhan led the campaign for ruling Progressive Party of Maldives candidates on Thimarafushi for the municipal elections. He was ordered to resign on May 8 after provisional results showed that opposition Maldivian Democratic Party won all three seats on the Thimarafushi island council.

He was also the top official of the Elections Commission at a polling station set up at the Thimarafushi youth centre. 

The PPM previously held a majority on the Thimarafushi island council but MDP candidates won the council seats this year by large margins. The MDP candidate was also elected to the Thaa atoll council from the Thimarafushi constituency with 65 percent of the vote.

Provisional results show that the MDP swept the Malé, Addu, and Fuvahmulah city councils and other populous islands. The MDP took 305 seats overall while the PPM won 191 seats.

The opposition-aligned broadcaster Raajje TV meanwhile reported on Wednesday that a coordinator at the environment ministry was dismissed after his father actively campaigned for the opposition.

Citing reliable sources, Raajje TV reported that Izzath Waheed was dismissed as coordinator of the environment ministry on Monday by President Abdulla Yameen, who has the authority to hire and sack political appointees. 

Izzath’s father reportedly campaigned for the MDP and helped its three candidates win the island council race on the southern island of Fares-Maathoda in Gaaf Dhaalu atoll.

On Thursday, newspaper Mihaaru reported that the manager of the Fenaka powerhouse on the northern island of Eydhafushi was transferred to the southern island of Kodey last week.

The PPM won three out of five seats on the Eydhafushi island council but the MDP took the atoll council from the Eydhafushi constituency.

Other reported dismissals after last Saturday’s polls include Ali Khalid, chief communications officer at the president’s office, and Hinna Khalid, executive coordinator at the home ministry.

Fenaka managing director Shareef also stirred controversy ahead of the elections by offering jobs to opposition candidates if they withdrew their candidacies.

Fenaka provides electricity services in more than 150 islands.

Shareef, a former PPM lawmaker, was appointed to manage Fenaka in October following the sacking of his predecessor amid a corruption scandal that cost the company MVR17 million (US$1.1 million) in a foreign exchange scam.