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Renewable Energy Maldives: President Nasheed's gift for elder brother Naashid

Male', Maldives
Maldives President Nasheed has jumped to the head of the corrupt leaders class by using his powerful position as President of the country to create a business for his elder brother, Ahmed Nashid.

From the inception of his administration, Nasheed has consistently worked at creating business opportunities for Naashid who now heads a family investment called Renewable Energy Maldives. The family company's biggest project so far is a joint venture project with the state company STELCO to provide six islands in Male' Atoll with electricity via solar power. The company's CEO is Naashid, who until then worked with Nasheed in their family business Dhivehi Meysthiri.

In addition to the STELCO project, Renewable Energy Maldives has landed other projects to supply solar panels and other renewable energy products to government agencies and companies.

President Nasheed's crony, Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam has announced in December 2011 that Naashid's renewable energy project would be implemented in a total of 29 inhabited islands in the country.

Renewable Energy Maldives, a company established by President Nasheed's family in 2007, did not engage in any substantial business activities until Nasheed came to power in 2008. Its first project was the STELCO joint venture project, which it was awarded by disqualifying the top ranked bidder. The reasons for disqualification of Naashid's competitor were alleged delays in project implementation.

President Nasheed's helping hand to his brother does not stop there. On December 18th, 2011, Nasheed announced that he would ensure that 25% of electricity supply to the capital Male' would be via renewable energy sources. The project is estimated to cost about 70 million US dollars (over one billion Maldivian Rufiyaa). And who better to handle this multimillion dollar project than Male' power supplier STELCO's current partner in renewable energy, the President's brother Ahmed Nashid?

In further actions to create business opportunities for his brother Naashid and family, Nasheed announced on 10th October 2011 that in the future he would be spending 2% of the country's income on renewable energy.

President Nasheed's assistance to family and friends is well known and would not raise any eyebrows amongst Maldivians. Over 50% of political appointments to the top heavy Nasheed administration are close family members and friends of Nasheed. Another 20% are close family members and friends of the MDP Leadership.

Additionally, the Anti Corruption Commission has reported several cases of fraud and corrupt practices in the award of contracts to the President's family and close friends. Nasheed also obstructed the work of the Anti Corruption Commission by deliberately delaying nomination of a fifth member to the commission.

As one political opponent, Dr. Hassan Saeed remarked in a public address on January 9th, 2012, the three years of the Nasheed regime have been the most corrupt three years in the country's history.

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