Embroiled in scandal, Ameen resigns as Health Minister

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen gestures as he speaks during a meeting with the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee on August 25, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Abdulla Ameen has resigned from his role of the Health Minister. 

Sun has confirmed that Minister Ameen submitted his letter of resignation to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last night. His resignation comes after a move within the main governing party MDP to remove Ameen from his position. 24 MPs had signed the move against Ameen. The MPs split from an MDP PG Group decision which backed Ameen. 

Sources have confirmed that Ameen resigned after discussions with President Solih where it was agreed that his resignation would be the best move for the time being. 

The allegations against Ameen stems from irregularities highlighted in a compliance audit on COVID-19 related spending by the Health Ministry – primarily an MVR 34.50 million contract to Dubai-based Executors General Trading to procure 75 ventilators – released by the Auditor General’s Office in August.

While Ameen and officials from National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) previously stated that the contract for procurement of 75 ventilators was awarded to Executors General Trading at the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Male’, the audit report states that no official recommendation was ever made.

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.

Ameen has consistently denied all allegations, including the provision of false information to the Parliament.