Parliament approves Shareef to Elections Commission

Parliament on Tuesday approved former state utility boss Ahmed Shareef Adam to fill a vacancy on the Elections Commission.

With only ruling coalition lawmakers present, President Abdulla Yameen’s nominee to the five-member electoral body was approved with 33 votes from the 85-member house.

Breaking with the party line, Thulhaadhoo MP Nazim Rashad cast the sole dissenting vote.

Opposition lawmakers continue to boycott parliament sittings in protest against the ongoing state of emergency and the disputed status of 12 former ruling party MPs.

“We have no trust in his independence,” MP Imthiyaz Fahmy, spokesman of the Maldivian Democratic Party, said after Shareef’s nomination to the post.

Former EC president Fuwad Thowfeek told the Maldives Independent that Shareef was not an appropriate choice for any independent body.

“But if President Yameen wants to keep someone who will be ready to obey his orders without any respect to the constitution and laws of this country, Shareef may be his choice as he will not hesitate to do any dirty thing asked by his master,” he said.

“It is another evidence that still President Yameen does not want to do anything for the betterment of our institutions.”

The president’s spokesman tweeted photographs from Shareef’s appointment shortly after the parliament vote. Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla administered the oath of office during the ceremony at the president’s office.

Opposition figures speculated after the resignation of the commission’s former president Ahmed Sulaiman in January that Shareef would replace him for this year’s presidential polls.

Sulaiman, who was accused during his tenure of acting unlawfully to do Yameen’s bidding, was appointed as president of the National Integrity Commission last week.

A former school principal and deputy minister of education, Shareef previously served as secretary-general of the People’s Alliance party led by Yameen and MP for the Thimarafushi constituency after winning a by-election in 2013.

He was appointed Fenaka’s managing director in September 2016. Ahead of last year’s municipal elections, Shareef offered jobs to opposition candidates who agree to withdraw their candidatures.

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Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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