Several top police officials received promotions on Tuesday, despite the appeal by President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu to freeze all promotions during the transitional period.
Muizzu, who takes office on Friday, made the appeal to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last month.
The outgoing president’s brother-in-law, Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, who is set to retire Wednesday, handed out the promotions on Tuesday night.
Sun has been informed that six officials were promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, increasing the number of ACPs to 11.
Meanwhile, eight officials were promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police, and more promotions are set to be handed out Wednesday.
A senior police official, who spoke to Sun on condition of anonymity, said the promotions will pose a major challenge to the next Commissioner of Police.
“This is intentional. It will be very hard for the next CP, with so many people promoted to the upper echelons of the police force at once. They will do a number of things,” he said.
However, a police spokesperson said the promotions were decided back in April, but was postponed until after the election, in order to avoid a possible negative image.
“There promotions were announced and decided back in April. These promotions were not handed out at the time as it was close to the election, and we found it could possibly create a negative public image,” said the spokesperson.
The police insisted the promotions were granted in accordance with rules and regulations.
President Solih has made a number of controversial decisions in his last week in office.
He has used his executive powers to grant pardons to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor and Abdulla Ziyath, former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) – who were convicted of multiple corruption charges in connection to the MMPRC graft scandal.
He also used his powers to commute the sentence of a minor convicted of the murder of Mohamed Anas – a young man from R. Meedhoo who was stabbed to death inside the Litus Service Center in Male’ in 2017.
President Solih, who got elected to office in 2018 on the promise of investigating and recovering the money stolen from MMPRC and seeking justice for unresolved murders, has been hit with criticism for his recent decisions.