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National airline owed MVR5m for ruling party campaign

The Elections Commission was asked to deduct from state funds allocated to PPM.



The state-owned Island Aviation Services is seeking to recover MVR4.8 million (US$311,200) owed by the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives for flights during the campaign for September’s presidential election.

The company, which operates the national airline Maldivian, lodged complaints with the finance ministry and the Elections Commission after the PPM failed to make payments in accordance with an agreement.

The EC was asked to deduct the money from the annual state funding allocated to the PPM.

But the electoral body informed the airline Wednesday that it lacked the legal authority to divert the funds, EC member Ahmed Akram told the media.

Neither PPM officials nor the president’s spokesman was responding to calls.

According to Mihaaru, the PPM has now paid MVR1 million and promised to settle the outstanding amount next week.

The money was owed for flying supporters to Malé for a “mega rally” in the capital, an IAS official told the newspaper.

Several flights were chartered to bring supporters from across the country

President Abdulla Yameen’s numerous campaign trips to the atolls were funded from the state budget.

Most trips were organised as official visits to inaugurate projects, prompting allegations from the opposition of misuse of state resource.