Defense Minister: Nasheed being attacked is not my failure

Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi speaks at the Aviation Security Command promotions ceremony on November 19, 2022. (Sun Photo/Ibrahim Shamveel)

Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi has remarked that she believes a terrorist attack targeted on Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed being carried out during her tenure as the defense minister does not amount to her failure in her capacity as the minister.

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam, at Wednesday’s parliamentary sitting, posed three questions to Defense Minister Mariya.

One such question was whether the Minister believes the failure to stop a bomb blast during her tenure after receiving intel regarding the terror attack and subsequently failing to ascertain the safety of the public amounts to her failure.

Responding to the question – Minister Mariya stressed that she does not, to any extent, believe the matter to be her failure.

She also underscored that parliamentarians had the power to initiate action against ministers under the law if they believe a minister has failed based on the minister’s actions or omission to act.

The second question MP Shiyam asked was whether she supports brutality against Maldivian citizens who advocate against the presence of foreign soldiers on Maldivian soil within the purview of rights granted to them by law. The third question was whether she believes, she as a minister, owes an apology for the poor treatment of individuals that have honorably retired after serving in security forces.

Responding to both questions – Minister Mariya said areas ministers can be questioned are laid down in Article 2 of Addressing of Questions to the Cabinet Ministers Act. On this note, she pointed out that Article 2 (a) states that ministers can be questioned at the parliament on responsibilities undertaken by the minister in the minister’s official capacity. Briefing the parliament on those responsibilities – the Minister said she has not undertaken any work as the defense minister concerning the matters surrounding MP Shiyam’s questions.

“Can only be questioned on a personal matter at the parliament if an act is suspected to be unlawful or detrimental to the government or the people. I have not done anything unlawful or detrimental to the government or people,” she said.

Therewith, she stressed she does not believe MP Shiyam’s questions fell within the purview of the Addressing of Questions to the Cabinet Ministers Act.