President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that he would not endorse any candidates involved in the MMPRC scandal in the parliamentary election.
The much awaited report into the Maldives Media and PR Corporation (MMPRC) scandal had revealed that over USD79 million had been embezzled through the state tourism promotion company. The funds received by MMPRC were distributed through a private company called SOF Private Limited with strong links to the now jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor. The recently publicized report named individuals and companies with whom SOF Pvt Ltd had conducted business with.
Speaking at a campaign event of an MDP candidate, the President said MDP candidates has his full support in the election.
"I definitely will not back any candidates [linked to] of MMPRC scandal", said the President.
Following the publication of the report, President Solih has asked several government officials whose names appeared on the ACC report to stay at home, temporarily relieving them from their official duties until the matter can be further investigated by the ACC.
Speaking at Felidhoo island, President Solih said the people of the Maldives now wish for a young and fresh outlook in the parliament, and said this was the reason that had prompted Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid to resign from the parliament.
"We have to step aside to allow young people to occupy the parliament seats. The parliament is in need of the passionate drive and fresh philosophies offered by young people, we are in need of a modern revolution", said the president, who himself spent 25 years as a parliament member.
The President said the public has to ensure that the members elected to the parliament fully support the pledges made by the President during the presidential campaign. Such members should and will be prioritized when endorsing candidates, added the President.