The parliament yesterday approved Aminath Eenas and former MP Shifaq Mufeed as the new president and vice president, respectively, of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM).
Following evaluation by the independent institutions committee, Eenas was approved to the post unanimously with 62 votes in favour. Mufeed was approved with 54 votes in favour and three abstentions.
The pair were appointed to the human rights watchdog in August along with Moosa Ali Kaleyfaanu and Aishath Afreen Mohamed following the expiry of the five-year terms of the independent commission’s previous members.
A fifth member, Naiveen Abdulla, was appointed last month.
Eenas previously worked at the gender department.
Mufeed had represented the mid-Fuvahmulah constituency as a Maldivian Democratic Party MP in the 16th People’s Majlis. He joined the now-ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in May 2012, weeks after the ousting of the MDP government on February 7, 2012.
In July 2013, Mufeed quit the PPM and joined the Jumhooree Party and backed its candidate Gasim Ibrahim in the 2013 presidential election. He did not seek re-election in the May 2014 parliamentary elections and went back to the PPM in March 2015.
The former president of the HRCM, Mariyam Azra, was meanwhile appointed state minister of law and gender last month.
The parliament also approved four members nominated by President Abdulla Yameen to the newly established National Integrity Commission (NIC).
They were Yousuf Maaniu Mohamed, former president of the Customs Integrity Commission (CIC), Mohamed Farhad, former vice president of the Police Integrity Commission (PIC), Hassaan Hameed, and Khadheeja Abdulla.
Maaniu and Khadheeja were approved with 63 votes in favour whilst Farhad and Hameed were approved with 62 votes in favour.
The new oversight body for law enforcement agencies – including the police, the Maldives Customs Service, the Maldives Correctional Services and the immigration department – was formed on October 6 to replace the PIC and CIC under a law passed by the parliament in late August.
The NIC’s mandate includes investigating alleged violations of laws and regulations by employees, taking administrative action, and forwarding cases for a police investigation to pursue criminal prosecution.
The commission can also recommend changes to regulations and procedures and assess the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies.
In July, former Assistant Attorney General Ismail Wisham told The Maldives Independent that NIC will “cure the current toothlessness” of the now-defunct commissions.