MP Ahmed Usham (MNP-Vilimale) has accused the government of deliberately delaying the appointment of new members for the Anti-Corruption Commission. The Anti-Corruption Commission is a state entity that has been mandated with investigating cases of graft and corruption.
The Parliament Committee on Independent Institutions had controversially forced the resignation of all members of the ACC in December.The Committee had claimed that the ACC's progress on cases under investigations was "slow". The Committee had convened to finalise the dismissal of all members of the ACC while the Majlis had been in recess.
The President's Office has extended its call for applicants for the ACC's membership to the end of January.
Expressing concern, MP Usham had tweeted that keeping an institution as important as the ACC in such a "legal vacuum" was a serious matter.
Many have expressed their concern that the government has apparently exploited the ACC's current inactivity by announcing several unplanned infrastructural projects in the Komandoo constituency, less than a month before the 5 February bi-elections.
Transparency Maldives and the political opposition have characterised the government's actions with regards to their campaigning in Komandoo as an abuse of power. The Elections Commission had also expressed their concern that the government had announced unbudgeted projects while campaigning for the Komandoo seat. There currently exists no institution in the Maldives to investigate this.
Mariyam Shiuna, who had served as the ACC's president until her resignation in December, accused the Parliament Committee of having decided to dismiss the ACC's membership, under the pretext of slow work, to prevent the Commission from acting independently. She said that even if a new members' board was to be appointed, it was only by allowing them to work independently could results be achieved.