In the midst of an economic downturn and government spending cuts, Azmoon Ahmed, former personal assistant to Youth and Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof, has been promoted. This development comes as the number of political appointees under President Ibrahim's administration reaches nearly 2,000, an all-time high in the country's history.
Azmoon Ahmed previously worked as a journalist for Raajje TV before being appointed as the personal assistant to the Youth Minister. Although the president's office has yet to officially announce his new position, information on the ministry's website suggests that he is now one of the seven deputy ministers working under Minister Mahloof.
The Youth Ministry recently disclosed that the government spends over MVR 1.4 million per month on the salaries of political workers. In a written response to The Maldives Journal, the ministry provided a detailed breakdown of its 77 political employees, including:
5 Executive Directors
16 Senior Executive Directors
6 Deputy Ministers
2 Ministers of State
1 Assistant to the Minister
1 Sports Commissioner
35 Youth Associates
7 Youth Executives
This totals MVR 1,466,500 in monthly salary expenses, or MVR 17.5 million per annum. It is worth noting that several political staff members were appointed to the ministry ahead of the party's chairperson elections and presidential primaries, with eight individuals receiving political posts this year alone.
As the Maldives struggles with economic hardship and the government is urged to cut down on expenses, the promotion of Azmoon Ahmed raises questions about the administration's priorities and commitment to fiscal responsibility.