MDP parliamentary group no-confidence vote against ACC chief fails

President of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Mariyam Shiuna during a meeting of the Independent Institutions Committee with Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on October 21, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

A no-confidence motion presented within the main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s parliamentary group against Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s President Mariyam Shiuna failed to pass on Sunday, after failing to secure necessary support.

The vote on Sunday comes after MDP leader and Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed accused ACC of negligence in investigating the case involving corruption in the award of a government contract to procure ventilators for COVID-19 patients, and called for a no-confidence motion against Shiuna.

The parliamentary group of MDP, which holds a supermajority in the Parliament, convened for a meeting at 11:00 am this Sunday, during which Inguraidhoo MP Hassan Ahmed (Hassantey) presented a no-confidence motion against Shiuna.

Sun has been informed only 13 parliamentarians voted in favor of the motion.

After the motion failed, Alifushi MP Mohamed Hussain Rasheed (Bigey) presented a second motion, to have the Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee hold an inquiry to identify whether ACC had been negligent in the investigation.

The motion received 14 votes.

The meeting was chaired by MDP parliamentary group leader, Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim, who declared neither of the motions passed.

Sun has been informed a decision regarding Shiuna has therefore been tabled for further discussion.

The case stems from an MVR 34.50 million contract awarded by Health Ministry to Dubai-based Executors General Trading to procure 75 ventilators, which the Auditor General’s Office found to be in breach of Public Finance Regulation.

The Prosecutor General’s Office, after the ACC completed its investigation to the case, declined to press charges citing lack of sufficient evidence to prove the charges in court.

Maldives received only 15 out of the 75 ventilators, and the audit report shows the Health Ministry paid MVR 30.91 million, which made for 90 percent of the total payment, to Executors General Trading as an advance, without obtaining an advance guarantee or a performance guarantee.