The President’s Office has refused to disclose the expenses of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s trip to the UK to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Exercising the Right to Information Act, TMJ requested the President’s Office to disclose the financial details of the president’s England trip, however, upon completion of the initial 21 days to request, they extended it by 14 days. Nonetheless, they refused to provide the requested details upon completion of the extension.
Information requested by TMJ
- - Details of the accompanying party
- - Cost of tickets
- - Cost of individual tickets and airline class traveled
- - Cost of accommodation and meals
- - The form submitted to the Ministry of Finance, as per the Public Finance Act, for approval of presidential visit prior to departing and the document of approval provided by the ministry
- - Copy of the travel report submitted to the Finance Ministry upon completion of the visit
Although the administration has chosen to withhold these numbers, TMJ had learned through reliable sources that the visit cost the state close to MVR 3 million in expenses.
Spokesperson Miuvaan Mohamed had claimed that the international trip cost less than a million in Maldivian Rufiyaa. However, depending on the costs of tickets from the Maldives to England and the prices of hotel stay during the days leading up to the Queen’s funeral, this claim is most likely false.
President Solih and his administration have taken numerous international trips at the expense of the state. Prior to coming into office, President Solih had expressed his interest and desire to travel.