Male, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the First Lady Fazna Ahmed have come under fire for attending the opening of a gym owned by the Total Fitness Group (TfG) during official working hours today. The couple, who have a known history with TfG, participated in a workout session and photos from the event were subsequently shared on official government Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Critics argue that the President's actions in promoting a private business using government time and resources is inappropriate and demonstrates a conflict of interest. This is not the first instance of such controversy, as President Solih previously attended the opening of a luxury watch shop, with pictures of the event also being shared on the President's Office's official social media channels.
Several members of the public took to Twitter to express their frustration with the President's actions, with some accusing him of corruption and abuse of power. One tweet read, "It has become a norm for the official @Twitter handle of @presidencymv under the 2nd @MDPSecretariat-led coalition @governmentmv to promote private businesses affiliated with them somehow. While First Lady is a member of @3000TfG, promoting the Centre via the official Twitter handle of @presidencymv in this manner clearly displays 'conflict of interest'."
Another tweet urged the Anti-Corruption Commission of Maldives (ACC) to investigate the situation: "It’s corruption when @ibusolih uses govt resources to promote friends’ businesses. Investigate this @ACC_Maldives."