Opposition MP accuses Foreign Minister of lying to parliamentarians

Maavashu MP Mohamed Saeed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Deputy leader of People’s National Congress (PNC) and Maavashu MP, Mohamed Saeed has accused Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid of making false comments when questioned by the Parliament on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Shahid was summoned for questioning by the Parliament on Wednesday following a request filed by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir.

Responding to questions over the government’s spending on foreign affairs, Shahid said Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in three short months, secured MVR 1.9 billion in grant assistance to Maldives in visits to four bilateral partner countries.

He said the figure was equivalent to the total grant assistance secured by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on four years.

Saeed, who had served as Economic Minister during Yameen’s administration, said Shahid’s statements which imply the former administration had failed at securing sufficient financial assistance to Maldives was false.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid responds to questions by parliamentarians on July 31, 2019. (Photo/People's Majlis)

He said the records released by Finance Ministry show the State had USD 222 million as major active external grant in 2018. He said the former administration had secured USD 146 million in grant assistance for waste management and environmental protection projects alone.

“Therefore, the Foreign Minister, in his statements to the Parliament today, made false remarks. He shouldn’t have done that. It’s disgraceful,” said Saeed.

Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed has previously announced that charged will be brought against officials who are found to have lied to parliamentary committees.

He said that making false comments at the Parliament was a crime, and warned that any such suspicious statement will be investigated and taken action against.

Nasheed issued the warning following a letter he received from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee alleging the deputy CEO of national bank, BML, Mohamed Shareef had made false comments when questioned by the committee in July.