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Opposition makes registry of supporters sacked from government jobs

State-owned companies are accused of eliminating posts to lay off workers.



The People’s National Congress has announced plans to maintain a registry of opposition supporters sacked from the civil service and state-owned companies.

“The biggest complaint to both our parties is the extreme fear of job security and complaints of young people being isolated from the jobs we created,” PNC deputy leader Ibrahim Shujau told reporters Wednesday night at a joint press conference with coalition partner Progressive Party of Maldives.

“We will maintain this registry and on 2023, with the grace of God, we will come back to power and we will give back the jobs with pending pay to all the young people who were fired by this government.”

Several workers have been laid off after their posts were abolished under changes brought to company structures, the outgoing lawmaker said.

“We were the ones being accused of firing people from their jobs, of transferring people from one island to another. But now people are being not fired but their positions eliminated,” he said. 

Former president Abdulla Yameen’s administration was accused of hiring ruling party members and firing employees for attending opposition protests and political rallies. During the campaign for September’s presidential election, there were almost daily media reports of action against civil servants or staff at government companies who attended campaign events or welcomed the opposition candidate on island visits.

Some 150 people were alleged to have been hired by the Housing Development Corporation to campaign for the incumbent.

On Wednesday, HDC managing director Ahmed Suhail told Mihaaru that 148 employees have been fired since the change of government in November.

While some employees resigned, Suhail said others who were let go had been hired as security guards to monitor different areas of Hulhumalè, a reclaimed island suburb of the capital. 

Earlier this month, the president’s spokesman denied the PNC’s allegations that the new administration has been “penalising and sacking employees of state offices and companies based on their political beliefs.”

After assuming office, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih formed a ‘Presidential Action Committee’ to evaluate complaints of unfair dismissal for political reasons during the past five years.

More than 800 complaints were submitted by the end of March.