The head of news at a pro-government television station has been approved as a member of the Maldives Broadcasting Commission.
Amjad Waheed from Channel 13 will replace the broadcasting regulator’s vice president Mohamed Aslam, whose term is ending.
Only 36 MPs of the ruling coalition voted to approve his membership at Wednesday’s parliament sitting, which was boycotted by opposition lawmakers.
Aslam’s name was also included in the list of five applicants forwarded to parliament by President Abdulla Yameen.
But the independent institutions committee gave the highest marks to Amjad and selected him based on the order prioritised by President Abdulla Yameen.
The seven-member MBC is an independent body, but has been criticised for favouring Yameen’s administration.
The MBC has slapped heavy fines totalling MVR 1.7 million (US$108,488) on the opposition-aligned Raajje TV.
VTV and VFM, owned by self-exiled Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim, was recently fined MVR 400,000.
Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, COO of Raajje TV, told the Maldives Independent that he hoped Waheed would act lawfully.
“So far we have seen that most members of the MBC act unlawfully by imposing unjust fines on broadcasters. But defending the rights of broadcasters is equally highlighted in the law. We hope they will respect this law and defend our rights in the same manner they penalise us,” he said.
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