President nominates utility boss to Elections Commission

President nominates utility boss to Elections Commission
March 04 18:07 2018

President Abdulla Yameen has nominated the head of state utility Fenaka Corporation to the Elections Commission. 

Local media reported Sunday that Ahmed Shareef Adam was the only candidate sent for parliamentary approval out of those who applied to the president’s office.

With the nomination on the agenda for Monday and opposition lawmakers boycotting sittings amid the ongoing state of emergency, parliament is likely to endorse Shareef’s appointment to the five-member electoral body this week.

“We don’t support this at all,” said opposition spokesman and MP Imthiyaaz Fahmy. “We are very concerned. He won’t become independent overnight because he’s been appointed to an independent commission. He is currently active in working for the government, he’s a former government-aligned MP and even now he’s an activist.

“We have no trust in his independence, there will be no support from the MDP (Maldivian Democratic Party). We will not be participating in the vote.”

Opposition figures had speculated after the resignation of the commission’s former president Ahmed Sulaiman in January that Shareef would replace him for this year’s presidential polls.

Sulaiman, who was accused during his tenure of acting unlawfully to do Yameen’s bidding, was appointed as president of the National Integrity Commission last week.

A former school principal and deputy minister of education, Shareef previously served as secretary-general of the People’s Alliance party led by Yameen and MP for the Thimarafushi constituency after winning a by-election in 2013.

He was appointed Fenaka’s managing director in September 2016. Ahead of last year’s municipal elections, Shareef offered jobs to opposition candidates who agree to withdraw their candidatures.

This article has been updated.

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