President’s Chief of Staff: Twitter account compromised, tweets were unauthorized

Chief of Staff at the President's Office Ali Zahir speaking at a press conference held on September 5, 2021. (Photo/President's Office)

President’s Office’s Chief of Staff Ali Zahir denied any link to a series of political tweets made via his Twitter account on Tuesday, stating that the account was hacked.

One of the tweets in question responded to a tweet by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist Shammoon Jaleel (Lucas), criticizing Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail’s campaign slogan for the main ruling party’s internal elections to select a chairperson.

Fayyaz is running in the election against North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahmy (Inthi) – who Lucas backs.

A tweet from Ali Zahir’s account used an expletive, and said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was a patient man, who continued to run his administration despite the involvement of “such [expletive]”.

The tweet in question was deleted after approximately 10 minutes.

Ali Zahir tweeted a short while later that his account was hacked.

“Earlier today, my twitter account was compromised and unauthorized tweets sent out,” he said.

Ali Zahir said that his account had been re-secured with extra security measures, and that he had filed a complaint with the police over the incident.

He also alleged that it was an attempt to wrongly portray him as having a role in the upcoming MDP elections.

However, several politicians, including parliamentarians who support Inthi, allege the tweets were made by Ali Zahir himself.

Deputy Speaker, North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla responded that it was a matter concerning an internal election within MDP, and did not concern Ali Zahir – who is a member of government coalition partner Adhaalath Party (AP).