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Former president’s appointees sacked en masse

Chairpersons, managing directors and board members of 11 state-owned companies were dismissed.



Chairpersons, managing directors and board members of 11 state-owned companies who were appointed by former president Abdulla Yameen have been removed from their posts.

The dismissals were announced Thursday afternoon by Mohamed Nizar, president of the privatisation and corporatisation board.

The 21 appointees included the heads of the Public Service Media, State Electricity Company, Housing Development Corporation, Island Aviation Services, Greater Malé Industrial Zone Ltd, Fenaka Corporation, Maldives Hajj Corporation, Maldives Transport and Contracting Company, Addu International Airport Pvt Ltd, Dhiraagu Plc Ltd, and Maldives Sports Corporation.

Among them were the state media company’s chairwoman Mariyam Azra Ahmed, managing director Ibrahim Khaleel, and deputy managing director Mohamed Ikram Abdul Latheef.

During his tenure, Ikram faced criticism for emceeing several political rallies of the former ruling party.

Ahead of September’s election, PSM came under fire over negative campaigning, with stories branding the opposition unpatriotic, anti-Islamic and in cahoots with “Christian missionaries.”

Monitoring by the broadcasting regulator found PSM News coverage of Yameen was 97 percent positive, in contrast to 96 percent negative coverage of joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Since it was formed by law in April 2015, the state media corporation’s television and radio channels functioned as “a government mouthpiece,” in the words of a senior editor.

Other sacked officials included Mohamed Ashmalee as chairman of telecommunications firm Dhiraagu, former minister Ahmed Zuhoor as STELCO MD, Ahmed Nasif as HDC MD, Ahmed Bunyamin as an HDC board member, Abdul Haris as national carrier Maldivian’s MD, Iqbal Adam as chairman of Fenaka, and Ibrahim Ziyath as MD of MTCC.