Police rejects complaint filed over alleged bribery of MPs

Parliamentarians pictured during a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Maldives Polce Service has informed the Parliament Secretariat of their decision to reject the complaint filed alleging that MPs are being bribed amid the presidential elections.

A Police Spokesperson told Sun on Tuesday that the Parliament Secretariat’s letter requesting to probe the matter lacked basic information required to launch a criminal investigation.

In line with this, the Spokesperson said the Parliament Secretariate has now been informed that the police will not register the complaint as a criminal matter.

The Spokesperson detailed that the police had relayed that Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) holds main jurisdiction over bribery allegations to the Parliament Secretariate, and in this trajectory, their belief that such a complaint by the Parliament Secretariate has to be submitted to ACC.

The complaint, filed on Saturday, alleged bribery in the shift of political parties by some MPs.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed Nasheed, in a tweet on Saturday, accused President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of using state funds to bribe MPs and other people.

He voiced these allegations after some of the members of The Democrats, the new party established by supporters Nasheed, left the party to rejoin main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP); 

In this regard, Thoddoo MP Hassan Shiyan, left The Democrats and rejoined MDP on Friday night. Prior to this, both Kulhudhuffushi City Mayor Mohamed Athi and North Kulhudhuffushi MP, Yasir Abdul Latheef, had also left The Democrats to rejoin to MDP. 

Allegations of the MPs taking bribes to change parties have been raised on various occasions.  In 2008, then-president Nasheed's government did not have the parliament's majority. Some members were accused of signing up for MDP after being awarded large amounts of money and property in bribes. However, none of the allegations have been proven.

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration introduced a bill to prevent then-PPM MPs from leaving the party, making it so that members would lose their seats if they left the party they were representing when initially elected to People’s Majlis. The ratification of this law resulted in 12 MPs who left PPM to lose their seats in the parliament.