Maldives Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen has resigned after discussions with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Ameen forwarded his resignation letter to the president late Tuesday, at a time a no-confidence petition against him has been submitted to the People’s Majlis, signed by 24 parliamentarians.
The main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Parliamentary Group backed Ameen during a confidence vote taken during an emergency meeting on Tuesday, which led several MPs from MDP to sign a petition regarding the no confidence motion.
In his letter Ameen expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to him to develop the country’s health sector and bring good changes, especially the provision of adequate health services across residential islands.
Highlighting that immense efforts are required to overcome the Covid-19 crisis, Ameen stressed that the political frenzy the country has been embroiled in for long, stems deep-rooted challenges in the face of adequate development.
Ameen further noted that there are some plotting against the government, to weaken and obstruct its strategies. Ameen said amidst the current circumstances it was best to resign.
Ameen’s resignation came at a time he had been summoned to the People’s Majlis for questioning as per article 101 of the Maldives Constitution and 207 of the People’s Majlis Act which states that “at least fourteen-day notice of the debate in the People’s Majlis concerning a motion expressing want of confidence in a member of the cabinet may be moved to the People’s Majlis under the hand of at least 10 members specifying reasons, shall be given to the concerned member of the cabinet, and he shall have the right to defend himself in the sittings of the People’s Majlis, both orally and in writing.”
Accusations of misconduct against Ameen surfaced after irregularities were identified in an audit report on the government’s Covid-19 related-spending.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had looked into the ventilator scandal where 75 ventilators were to be procured from Executors General Trading based in Dubai, and forwarded the case for prosecution, seeking charges against 11 ministry officials including the minister.
On Tuesday, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) decided against pressing charges and declined the case citing insufficient evidence.