President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has appointed additional political appointees while the state struggles to meet the salary needs for government employees.
Newly appointed political appointees are the former spokesperson of Jumhooree Party Moosa Rameez, Ali Shiyam, a former actor, and an individual named Shiyadha Ibrahim.
The government gave Moosa Rameez, a political post at the Embassy of Maldives in Sri Lanka, Ali Shiyam was given a post at the consulate at Thiruvananthapuram and Shiyadha Ibrahim, was offered a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Senior Executive Director.
Moosa Rameez and Ali Shiyam had been fervent critics of the government on Twitter, prior to their appointment. However, their recent tweets have been praiseful and flatterous towards President Solih and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid.
While the government has posted three appointments within the same day, they had filled three political positions within the last week as well. The government has continued to conceal the number of political positions within the administration and refused to disclose the details, despite orders from the Information Commissioner's Office.
The government allocated MVR 452.9 million as remuneration for political posts in the budget for 2023. While this is the highest budgeted salary for such positions, to date, last year’s budget allotted MVR 407 million, which is MVR 45 million less than last year’s budget.
According to the budget proposal, there were a total of 1068 political appointments, most of them working at the President’s Office, Health Ministry and Foreign Ministry.
Although the official head count for political appointment was 1068, SOEs have also recruited political interests under the guise of employment. Since the government underwrites SOE budgets, these positions should also be counted as politically inclined. The government spends billions on these SOEs, most of it on their recurrent expenses.