Independent MP Ahmed Mahloof has asked the president’s office to disclose details of 42,000 new jobs that President Abdulla Yameen claims have been created under his administration.
Yameen had pledged to create 94,000 new jobs for youth during his five-year term. Speaking at the closing ceremony of a three-day symposium held to train “campaign leaders” for his re-election bid last night, Yameen said 50,000 new jobs have already been created during the past two years and that 42,000 young people have gained employment.
Mahloof submitted a letter to the president’s office today requesting details of the new jobs, including the name, address, and island of the 42,000 youth as well as the sectors in which the new jobs were created.
Mahloof told the press outside the president’s office this afternoon that according to the Civil Service Commission, only 200 jobs have been created in the civil service since Yameen assumed office in November 2013.
“Even with the addition of other coordinators, deputy minister, state ministers and other state employments, I will clarify if it adds up to that amount,” the MP for Galolhu South said.
“I believed that as an MP I should clarify this information. To be honest, when such a number has been announced every citizen will question this. Maldivian citizens are sane people and our eyes are open to the world. When we are talked to like we are seen as mentally retarded people, it will not be very good, so revealing these details is very important.”
Mahloof was expelled from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives in February over strong criticism of President Yameen in the media.
Asked for a comment about the issue, president’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali said: “There will not be something to say as soon as a letter is sent here. When an individual sends a letter here, we will be giving an answer to that individual, not to you, the media.”
Some 26.5 per cent of Maldivians aged 15 to 24 are unemployed, according to World Bank figures from 2013, the most recent statistics available.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) economic affairs committee said last week that only 1,000 new jobs have been created in the first year and a half of the current administration. At least 70 new jobs must be created every day if the target of 94,000 is to be reached before the end of 2018, the party said.
The MDP blamed the government’s “failed” economic policies as well as the lack of incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises and guesthouse for the failure to spur job growth.
Last year, President Yameen claimed the government had created 17,000 jobs, but did not give details. More recently, foreign minister Dunya Maumoon said the figure was 5,000.