The number of political appointees remains lower than the former government, the president’s office insisted on Wednesday after MVR331 million (US$21 million) was allocated in the 2020 budget for 778 posts.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih told the press in July that he has only created 334 posts, a figure that he said was lower than the 465 posts during the previous administration.
In the wake of media reports about the discrepancy, president’s office spokesman Ibrahim Hood said the figure the president gave did not include staff at the president’s office and the official residences of Muleeage and Hilaaleege, all of whom are counted as political appointees.
With 258 employees at the president’s office and 85 employees at the residences, the actual number of political appointees under former president Abdulla Yameen stood at 808, he explained.
The current administration’s 778 political posts include 377 staff at the president’s office, 109 political appointees at the health ministry – including officials in charge of island health centres and hospitals – and 86 political appointees at the foreign ministry.