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Showing posts from June, 2009

Facts and Figures about revenue and expenditure of the 2009 budget

The Total Revenue figure estimated by the government for 2009 is 9.5 billion mrf. That is the total. And this total includes what the government terms as Capital Revenue of 3.8 billion mrf. Capital revenue being an euphemism, a fancy term for the sale of those supposedly non-existent assets which Maumoon did not create in his thirty year rule. The mid-term budget 2009-2011 proposes to generate 5.7 billion rufiyaa by sale of capital assets not created in the last thirty years. As Yaameen said in one his speeches, those who do not know how to run businesses make money out of selling the capital assets created by those who did. But we divert. If we deduct the 3.8 billion mrf. to be generated from the whole-sale liquidation of the wealth not created in the last thirty years; something that looks increasingly unlikely to be approved by the current parliament, the government’s revenue figure for 2009 is 5.6 billion mrf. Let us at this juncture, ignore the fact that expenditure is rising fas

Fooling SOME of the people ALL of the time

It is still surprising how so many people can still be made to believe in something if enough people go around shouting about it. A case in point is this piece of legislation about revisions to Law No. 31/79, Import Export Law of Maldives. Submitted purely in order to prevent and delay the passage of bills submitted by Nasheed to protect, in his words, ‘the service chiefs’ (chief of defence and commissioner of police) and the other more ominous bills due to enter the parliament floor soon. This is a bill that was tabled, debated, argued upon and sent to the relevant committee, where members spent countless hours amending the bill. The committee version of the bill was even finalized and signed and sent to the full majlis. In keeping with the practice of the majlis, the speaker of the new 17th majlis, sent the bill, WITH the committee amendments and their report back the government. However, in its haste to totally prevent, or at least to delay the debate on the bills relating to the pr

Maldives Independent Commissions and Independent Offices – casualties of political trading?

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed today made the much awaited nominations to Parliament for the Elections Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and Prosecutor General. The nominees primarily comprise of members of President Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party, Opposition Leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party and its coalition partner, People’s Alliance. The names proposed for the Elections Commission are Sheikh Hussain Rasheed Yoosuf (MDP); Ogaru Ibrahim Waheed (formerly MDP, now posing as Independent); Mohamed Ibrahim (formerly DRP, now MDP); Fuad Thaufeeq (formerly MDP, now PA) and Mauroof Ahmed (PA). Sheikh Rasheed is the son of Baa Thulhaadhoo MDP leader and Counselor for Baa Atoll, Yoosuf Moosa. Ogaru Waheed was previously head of the Department of Inland Revenue in the Gayoom administration. Mohamed Ibrahim headed two state companies before becoming Deputy Minister of Construction and Infrastructure in the Gayoom Administration. He then moved to the interim

Maldives Attorney General Husnu Sood culpable of willfully presenting false evidence to court

On June 4th, the Maldives High Court ruled that documents submitted by Maakun Mohamed Falah (cousin of Auditor General Maakun Naeem) in his case against the Maldives Elections Commission had been doctored, and therefore dismissed the case. Maakun Falah’s attorney, Maldivian Democratic Party senior lawyer Husnu Sood, presented the falsified documents at the High Court hearing of the case. Husnu Sood is the incumbent Attorney General, appointed by President Mohamed Nasheed on June 3rd. Maakun Falah, MDP candidate for Maafannu Dhekunu Constituency, had lodged a case against the EC, demanding that the May 9th parliamentary vote in his constituency be declared void, and a fresh vote be ordered. In the High Court hearing on the case, Falah’s attorney Husnu Sood claimed that the official report of elections officials on the day’s proceedings contained false information. Sood also deposited as evidence of this charge, a copy of what he claimed was the said official report. The High Court foun

Maldives High Court declares Thimarafushi parliamentary vote invalid; orders fresh vote

In a landmark case, Ghassan Maumoon, the Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party candidate for Thaa Thimarafushi, has successfully won an appeal to invalidate the Thimarafushi parliamentary vote. On June 11, the Maldives High Court declared that the parliamentary elections in Thimarafushi had not taken place in a free and fair environment. It found that several conditions of voting in Thimarafushi were in direct violation of the law, and that voting in Thimarafushi had taken place in a climate of terror and intimidation. The court ordered the Maldives Elections Commission to take a fresh vote for both ballot boxes in the constituency. Ghassan Maumoon’s appeal stated that, voting on Thimarafushi island took place under intimidation, threat and violence by supporters of Maldivian Democratic Party candidate, Thimarafushi Musthafa. The High Court ordered the EC to ensure within 20 days that the island had a peaceful environment within which free and fair elections could be held as under Article 70 of t

Maldives Judiciary prevents President Nasheed from arbitrarily arresting Opposition Leader Yaameen

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed tried unsuccessfully on June 7th to arbitrarily arrest Opposition Leader Abdulla Yaameen. Nasheed’s political appointee Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh was ordered by President Nasheed to carry out the arrest. However, the Judiciary refused to issue Commissioner Faseeh with a warrant, citing that the police had insufficient evidence to justify the warrant. Abdulla Yaameen is the Leader of opposition party People’s Alliance and MP for Meemu Mulah Constituency. The only justification shown by Commissioner Faseeh to arrest Yaameen was printouts of hate articles from internet site Dhivehi Observer, a site solely focused on inciting hatred for former president Gayoom and opposition leaders. Sources report that the court judge threw this so-called evidence out of court as utter rubbish. Dhivehi Observer is owned and operated by President Nasheed’s Minister of State for Technology Ahmed Shafeeq (aka Kuda Sappey). Its lead contributing writers include Presid

A Video of the Thimarafushi vote scam

You are about to watch a video of one of the disruptions to vote counting on Thimarafushi Island. Please observe the actions of the man with the ID tag hanging from his neck, leaning against the wall on the far side of the tent. His name is Mohamed Shareef (aka Korube’) of Athamaa-Aage’, Thimarafushi. He was MDP candidate Mohamed Mustafa's campaign manager on the prior to being appointed the Elections Commission’s Complaint Officer. He was witnessed campaigning furiously for Mustafa in several campaign rallies just before he was appointed to this post. In this video Shareef is seen acting outside his mandate (he was only supposed to receive & investigate election complaints, but instead simply took over the duties of Foshi Veriya from the 19-year old Asad Ibrahim Pink House / Th. Thimarafushi). Just as the Elections Staff are about to pour out ballot papers from the Box for counting, Shareef limps across and takes a book on a table near the activity, and walks back to where h

The Quality of Political Appointees in the Nasheed Administration

As almost seven months pass since President Mohamed Nasheed took power in the Maldives, Maldivian citizens despair of ever seeing the much promised improvements in their livelihoods. The state treasury has been exhausted within this brief period, and the economy has declined to an extent worse than the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Escalating price of consumer goods, collapse of social services, increasing food insecurity and declining real income have thrown more people below the poverty line. While President Nasheed is engrossed in his hate and persecution campaign against political opponents, his government has ground to a halt. The Nasheed administration came into power promising reduced expenditures, increased government revenue and a clamp down on corruption in top government circles. President Nasheed’s first budget (2009) has a 7 billion deficit (nearly 5 billion more than the previous administration’s last budget, and government revenue has fallen by more than 28% since

Corruption, fraud and forgery charges against Auditor General Maakun Naeem

In the ongoing saga of the corruption charges against Auditor General Maakun Ibrahim Naeem, more evidence came to light last week of Maakun Naeem’s wiful misuse of Audit Office funds. Last week Haveeru Daily published scanned copies of Audit Office documents that had been later modified to try and cover up Maakun Naeem’s criminal activities. Maakun Naeem The scanned copies published by Haveeru showed that documents had been forged to try and show that the Auditor General had repaid in a very short time Audit Office funds he had used for a private launch trip in Baa Atoll. However, as was pointed out by Haveeru, the date of the forged document was even prior to the date of the bill for the service. Further, the repayment made by the Auditor General was put into the Audit Office Bank of Maldives account in January 2009, three months after the date of the forged document. The documents clearly show that, in addition to using Audit Office funds for private use, Maakun Naeem had ordered his

President Nasheed delivers hate speech in his first state radio address to the nation

In an address broadcast on the state radio Voice of Maldives at 7:15 today, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed again accused the Maldives Police Services of unjustified delays in their investigations into Auditor General Maakun Naeem’s reports on corruption issues of the previous administration. Last May, speaking to his ardent loyalists, President Nasheed had accused the police of deliberately delaying their investigations. In the following days, Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh undertook a series of illegal raids on opposition MP private offices and homes. The raids were made without required court warrants. The Judiciary had rejected police requests for such warrants on the grounds that police had insufficient evidence to justify their proposed searches. In his radio address, President Nasheed also stated that he is categorically opposed to two bills submitted to the Parliament by members that would undermine his powers to appoint State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other appointe

State of the Maldivian economy: Who’s lying? President Nasheed or Maldives Monetary Authority?

The state of the Maldivian economy has declined sharply since November 2008. The Maldives Monetary Authority reported in May 2009 that the real economy has decelerated in 2009. The MMA’s April 2009 Quarterly Economic Review projects that GDP growth rate will be -0.3% in 2009, as compared to 5.8% in 2008. It projects that real output will contract by 1.3% in 2009. The MMA forecasts tourism to decline by 11% in 2009 while the construction sector is projected to decline by 24%. This tale of economic collapse continues, as the MMA reports that consumer price inflation in March 2009 was 11.2%, much higher than the 8.2% inflation in March 2008. However, President Nasheed speaking to press on May 20th, just days after this MMA report, stated that his government had brought national inflation down from 12.06% to 10.38% since last year. Inflation is mostly contributed by the price of food, transport, health and housing. The MMA report used data up to May 5. President Nasheed also told press on

Maldivians’ hopes for liberal democracy dying a rapid death

It was to much consternation that the public watched yesterday as Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed’s three new nominees to cabinet were approved by parliament. All three nominees were close friends and cronies of Pressident Nasheed. President Nasheed’s long time friend Finance Minister Ali Hashim’s business partner Mahmood Raazee was approved as Civil Aviation Minister. Nasheed’s class mate and crony Ismail Shihab’s elder brother Mohamed Shihab was approved as Home Minister. And Nasheed’s classmate and crony Husnu Suood just scraped through as Attorney General. From Left to Right: President Nasheed, Ismail Shihab, Mohamed Shihab. The appointment of Mohamed Shihab as Home Minister is of the gravest concern to the public. In the 1990s, Shihab was removed by then President Gayoom from his post as head of External Relations Department due to his repeated offences of bribery and corruption. Japanese Grant aid projects, Taisei company, Kuwait Fund Aid and Colombo Plan aid are just a few ex

MDP sends warning signals to the Maldivian High Court

Photo: President Nasheed (Right) with his close friend and MDP financier Musthafa (left – wearing yellow tie) Addressing an MDP rally at the Artificial Beach on Tuesday night, MDP Parliamentary Group leader and Party voice Reeko Moosa Maniku called on the High Court to expedite a ruling on the case involving the Thimarafushi Constituency vote. Moosa repeatedly claimed that the TC seat belonged to the MDP, and warned of civil unrest if a court ruling went against the MDP candidate. MDP pg group leader Moosa’s warning of civil unrest follows an arson assault on the family home of one of the key witnesses who gave testimony against MDP activities during the voting in Thimarafushi . The case against the Elections Commission was lodged with the High Court by DRP candidate Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon, requesting an overturn of the election results of both ballot boxes and an order for a re-vote. The appeal also requested that a stay order be issued to the EC to withhold announcement of prelimin

Maldives Elections Commission admits Thimarafushi ballot box results sheet illegal

Elections Commissioner - Mohamed Ibrahim Maldives Elections Commission today admitted in High Court that the elections results sheet of the Thimarafushi ballot box was not in accordance with the Elections Regulation. A court hearing was held today for judges to obtain clarifications of issues in the ongoing High Court case of the Thimarafushi parliamentary vote. Today’s hearing, called for by the High Court, dealt with only matters relating to statements by the Elections Commission. High Court Judge Ali Hameed specifically questioned the Elections Commission on irregularities in signatures on the elections results sheet, irregularities in the handover process of the ballot box to Elections Commission officials and on the issue of 115 ballot papers that were missing from the box. On all three issues, the Elections Commission admitted that violations of the regulations had occured. On the first issue, the Elections Commission admitted that the elections results sheet was in contravention