Nasheed: I do not wish for MDP to stand by a government that steals

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Leader of the main ruling party MDP and Parliament speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed said on Saturday he does not wish for his party to stand by a government that steals from the people.

Nasheed has been expressing displeasure over the decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office not to pursue charges in a case involving corruption in a government contract to procure ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. He has demanded Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem’s resignation.

In a tweet on Saturday morning, Nasheed said that putting a lid over the ventilator corruption case will be highly damaging to the people.

“I see the government colluded in this. I do not wish for MDP to stand by a government that steals,” he said.

Nasheed said he is unwilling to budge over the case.

PG Shameem said on Saturday blamed insufficient investigation into the case, and said his office will prosecute if investigators find where the money went to and present the information.

“We will prosecute if they find where the money went to, to whom the money went to,” said Shameem.

Shameem said his office cannot press charges against anyone unless there is sufficient evidence, and stressed that having sufficient evidence to press charges and having sufficient to prove the charges are two different matters.

He also said that he received a text from Nasheed asking him to resign, and that he will act in accordance with official procedure in the matter of his resignation.

He said that he was willing to resign in connection to the case.

The case stems from a MVR 34.50 million contract awarded by Health Ministry to Dubai-based Executors General Trading to procure 75 ventilators, which the Auditor General’s Office found to be in breach of Public Finance Regulation.

Maldives received only 15 out of the 75 ventilators, and 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.