Nasheed: Legal remedy needed for govt. officials' abuse of state media and property

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed presides over a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, Maldivian Democratic Party’s leader (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed, on Monday, has remarked that a legal remedy is required to the issue of government officials abusing state property and state media in conjunction with elections. 

The debate on the bill to amend the General Elections Act submitted to the parliament by North Henveiru MP Ibrahim Muizzu, on behalf of the government, took place during Monday’s sitting.

Speaker Nasheed, who was presiding over the sitting during the debate, said that an election observation team from the European Union paid a courtesy call to him last week during which they had shared their concerns.

“Especially regarding abuse of state property for the election, and the use of state media by only government officials; these two matters were underscored as their most pressing concerns. A legal remedy for this would be highly useful,” he said.

Speaker Nasheed said that the bill submitted MP Muizzu did not cover such issues, thereby, did not provide legal remedies for them.

The government has been accused of abusing state media and property in conjunction with elections on multiple occasions. Most recently, Speaker Nasheed and the opposition had accused the current administration of abusing the state media for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s campaign for MDP’s presidential primary held recently.

Transparency Maldives also subsequently issued a statement against the use of state resources in President Solih’s campaign.