Elections Commission member Mohamed Shakeel was appointed state minister of economic development on Wednesday shortly after his resignation from the five-member electoral body.
The resignation and appointment were both announced by President Abdulla Yameen’s spokesman. Shakeel submitted his resignation letter and was confirmed to his new post in the same afternoon, according to local media.
His resignation comes with the EC’s independence in question ahead of presidential polls in September. The opposition says the election cannot be free and fair with the current commission, now led by a loyalist of President Yameen.
Following Shakeel’s reappointment, opposition spokesman MP Ahmed Mahloof questioned the impartiality of individuals who are shuffled between political posts and membership of independent institutions, noting the appointment of a former utility boss as EC chief and a former human rights commissioner as state minister of home affairs.
Shakeel was appointed to the EC in December 2014 along with other new members.
The opposition has since maintained that the commission has been “a de-facto rubber stamp for President Yameen in a number of politically motivated, illegal and unconstitutional actions,” including the contentious disqualification of 12 former ruling party lawmakers.